BJP got support from all sections and in the rural areas
Rajasthan saw a clean sweep by the BJP. In the three Lok Sabha elections held in the last decade, the electoral pendulum in the State has swung from one end to the other in what has essentially been a bipolar political contest.
In 2004, the BJP won 21 seats, in 2009 the Congress turned the tables by securing 20 seats and this time around the BJP has staged a resounding turnaround by capturing all the 25 seats. The earlier occasion when one party won all the seats was in 1984 — the Congress swept the State after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. In this sense, the staggering BJP victory in 2014 is phenomenal.
Eighteen of the 25 BJP candidates decimated their rivals by a margin ranging from 2-5 lakh votes. What caused this historical victory? A simple answer can be that in all the Lok Sabha elections held in Rajasthan after 1998, the party which had won in the Vidhan Sabha elections held a few months earlier also managed to win the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP too carried on from its Assembly triumph and consolidated in the Lok Sabha election.
Another major reason was the deep-seated dissatisfaction and seething anger with the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and also against the local Members of Parliament. In the post-poll survey, a significant number of voters identified price rise, corruption, unemployment, inadequate supply of drinking water, women security as the issues which determined their voting decision. Nearly half of the respondents observed that the BJP was the best party to solve these problems.
The Modi factor, which was discernible in many other parts of the country, also provided a great momentum for the BJP. The BJP has traditionally done exceedingly well among the non-reserved social groups like Brahmins, Rajputs and trading communities. The real success story lies in the tremendous surge in support which the party received from among the backward communities, Dalits, Adivasis and more significantly among the Muslims.
(Sanjay Lodha and Nidhi Seth are with the Department of Political Science, Mohan Lal Sukhadia University, Udaipur).