Bitten by the SC/ST bug, how BJP’s performance plummeted in the reserved seats
New Delhi, Dec 14: The BJP which lost three states in the Hindi heartland has taken a major beating in those seats reserved for the SC/STs. The party has lost 34 per cent of the seats reserved for SC/STs in all the three states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Out of the 181 seats reserved for SC/ST candidates in the three states, the Congress increased its count from 42 in 2013 to 181 in 2018. The BJP's tally was at 128 in 2013 and this year it came down to 59.
This nose dive has been attributed by the Dalit rights groups to the handling of the April 2 bandh to protest the dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. In all the three states the bandh had led to the arrests of several from the community.
In Madhya Pradesh, tribals account for 21 per cent of the population. The BJP recorded its worst performance in MP in these seats, losing 25 of the 82 reserved seats. The Congress on the other hand increased its tally from 15 tin 2013 to 26 this year.
In the 35 seats reserved for SCs, the BJP won 13, which is 15 down from 2013. The Congress on the other hand upped its tally from four in 2013 to 22 this year.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress bagged 24 of the 29 ST seats, while the BJP had just four. In the 10 SC seats, the BJP's tally of 9 in 2013 came down to 2 this year. Six went to the Congress in the SC seats.
In Rajasthan out of the 34 seats that were reserved for the SC candidates in the state, the BJP won 11 of them. In 2013, the party had won 32 of the 34. Even in the ST segment the tally of the BJP came down to half from 2013. In 2013, the party had won 18 out of the 25 ST seats, while this year the party could manage just 9.
It could be said that this was on expected lines as the state had witnessed violence following the Supreme Court's verdict on the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
In Alwar district where a Dalit man had been killed allegedly in police firing on April 2, the BJP lost 8 of the 10 seats. The BJP also lost all five seats in Sikar district, where several people had been booked following the April 2 violence. In 2013, the party had won all the five seats here.