Decoding the BJP’s Rajasthan defeat
The BJP lost all three- two Lok Sabha and one Assembly seat in the bypolls that were held in Rajasthan. This is particularly bad news for the BJP which faces a crucial assembly election in the state this year.
While normally it is said that bypolls are not reflective of the mood of the entire state, the BJP would have hoped for a win as it would have been stamp for the party in the upcoming assembly elections.
The by-elections were held in 17 assembly segments of Alwar and the Ajmer Lok Sabha constituencies. Alwar and Ajmer include eight Vidhan Sabha segments each. Including the Mandalgarh assembly seat, these segments represent 8.5 per cent seats of the total 200 assembly seats. Moreover the Alwar seat is adjacent to Haryana while Mandalgarh falls near the Madhya Pradesh border.
So what are the factors that went against the BJP and benefited the Congress largely? The Congress argues that this result indicates the mood of the entire state and this victory would have a bearing in the assembly polls.
There are a variety of factors that have gone against the BJP. The Gujjars expressed their unhappiness after two bills that were brought by the government for their reservation were stayed by the High Court.
The business and farmer community have complained about them being hit due to demonetisation and GST. The farmers were thoroughly upset that despite the government announcing a Rs 50,000 farm loan waiver, the government had not acted upon it. The announcement came following a 13 day agitation by farmers in the Shekhawati region, but the government failed to act upon it.
The caste factor too appears to have played a role. The Rajputs backed the Congress owing to two factors. The Padamaavat agitation and the encounters of history sheeters Chatur Singh and Anand Pal also appeared to have gone against the BJP.
The rebellion within the BJP too was another factor that hurt the party. Ghanshyam Tiwari, a rebel BJP leader said, " the Centre rather than removing Vasundhara Raje has let her carry on with the loot. The public has punished her, he also said.