In Delhi, AAP’s impressive election campaign played a spoiler
Even as leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party sought to portray the party’s good showing as an endorsement of prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s popularity, a quick run through the results reveal that his impact was essentially confined to Rajasthan.
Elsewhere, the BJP held on to its turf wherever he campaigned without making significant gains.
In Rajasthan, the BJP doubled its tally in the areas that Mr. Modi campaigned. He addressed a total of 20 rallies in the State and a sample survey of 23 of the targeted constituencies reveals that the party doubled its tally in these seats. From 10, the BJP score went up to 20.
Delhi comes a close second as far as the ‘Modi effect’ is concerned, with the BJP wresting from its rivals four seats of the roughly 16 Assembly segments his rallies covered. While the Delhi pitch was queered by the impressive maiden run of the Aam Aadmi Party, Mr. Modi’s five rallies across the capital did not help the party ride the anti-Congress wave.
In fact, in Delhi, the Congress — which won only eight seats — managed to hold on to two of the seats where he campaigned, Sultanpur Majra and Chandni Chowk. In Sultanpur Majra, the BJP trailed the AAP, which came second after the Congress.
One of the regions that Mr. Modi intensely focused on during his campaign tour of Madhya Pradesh was Bagelkhand. The Hindu surveyed 29 seats in the region. The BJP had won 21 of these seats in 2008. This time round, the party score dropped to 20. In Bhopal and Sagar – the only other areas where he campaigned — the BJP made gains only in the latter, picking up all five seats in the district. In Bhopal, the BJP retained its six seats.
Similarly, in the adjoining State of Chhattisgarh, the ‘Modi effect’ was not palpable. The party had hoped that his dozen rallies would have a spinoff effect in the 62 Assembly segments, where it held 35 seats in the last Assembly. The BJP dropped one seat to finish with 34. The Congress held on to its previous tally of 27 while an independent picked up one seat.
(With inputs from Suvojit Bagchi in Raipur, Pheroze L. Vincent in Bhopal, Sowmiya Ashok in New Delhi and Mohammed Iqbal in Jaipur.)