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Assembly elections: BJP lost out not just in rural segments, but in urban belts as well

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New Delhi, Dec 13: While analysing the BJP's loss in the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, many have pointed towards the party's poor performance in the rural areas.

Assembly elections: BJP lost out not just in rural segments, but in urban belts as well

While the party did loose considerably in the rural belts, the fall in the urban areas has been significant as well. The three states which are referent to as party of the Hindi heartland, have been BJP strongholds. In the 2013 assembly elections in these three states, the BJP won 49 out of 60 in Chhattisgarh, 163 out of 200 in Rajasthan and 165 out of 230 in Madhya Pradesh.

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The big wins in these states in 2013, coupled with the Modi wave in 2014, helped the BJP put up a good show in the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP went on to win 62 out of the 65 parliamentary seats in these three states.

Political scientist, Dr. Sandeep Shastri points out that the BJP has lost significantly in the rural areas. It has lost in the urban areas as well. However these three states are more rural dominant and hence the loss looks bigger, unlike a Gujarat, where the urban constituencies are more in nature.

In comparison to Gujarat, the rural loss looks bigger in the Hindi heartland as much of these belts are agriculture centric. Hence the support of the farming community becomes bigger here, Dr. Shastri also says.

The bigger worry for the BJP is that it has lost out significantly in the urban belts as well. The BJP performed exceptionally well in the urban areas in 2013, but in all the three states this year there has been a significant fall.

How NOTA bit the BJP in Madhya Pradesh

In the case of Madhya Pradesh, the seat share fell from 90 per cent in the urban areas in 2013 to 55 this year. Chhattisgarh too saw a significant fall in the urban seat share. It fell from 75 per cent in 2013 to 25 per cent in 2018. The fall in Rajasthan in the urban areas was also quite high. The seat share in 2018 is 63 per cent when compared to 95 per cent in 2013.

The fall in the urban areas would worry the BJP more as it is a party perceived to be stronger in these areas when compared to the rural segments. These fall in numbers would mean that the BJP has double the job ahead of the 2019 polls. While it would be exceptionally hard to replicate the 2014 performance in these three states, the fact of the matter is that if needs to put up a good showing, it would need to better its strike rate both in the urban and rural areas.

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