Madhya Pradesh 2018

In Madhya Pradesh, a rural-urban divide between Congress, BJP

The Congress may be headed towards government formation in Madhya Pradesh – unseating the BJP after 15 years – but it is far behind the BJP in urban seats of the state.

It is rural areas that have sent the party ahead of the incumbent BJP.

The Hindu analysed the trends and results in the urban and rural seats, procuring a list of urban constituencies from Yatindra Singh Sisodia, director, MP Institute of Social Science Research.

Among urban seats, the BJP was ahead on 62%, or almost two thirds, and the Congress on just 33%, or one-third of the urban seats.

Among the rural seats, the Congress was ahead on 52% and the BJP on 44% seats.

Of the 37 seats in the State which have more than 50% urban voters, the BJP’s success rate was almost double that of the Congress till late on Wednesday night, as counting was still on.

The BJP was leading in or had won 23 of the 37 urban seats, and the Congress had bagged or was leading in just 12.

One urban seat, Burhanpur, saw an independent candidate in the lead, with the BJP in the second place. On one urban seat, Bhind, the BSP was ahead.

Of the 193 rural and semi-rural constituencies in the State, the Congress led in a majority, being ahead in 101, and the BJP slipped behind it, leading in just 86.

As The Hindu had reported in its election trail of the State, there was rural unease against the BJP government on account of the GST, rising diesel prices, and falling prices of rural produce hitting farmers.

The same trend was noticed in the Gujarat polls, where the Congress edged past the BJP in rural constituencies but urban areas ensured that the BJP scraped through.

However, with MP being 72% rural and thus having a lion’s share of rural and semi-rural constituencies, the Congress has edged past the BJP.

Prof Sisodia’s co-edited book How India Votes captures the shift from 2014 when seen in terms of the rural-urban divide.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, rural MP had given even greater support to the BJP than urban MP.

The BJP had won 55% rural votes, compared to 35% for the BJP. In urban seats, the corresponding figures were 52% and 35%.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 4:46:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/madhya-pradesh-assembly-elections-2018/in-madhya-pradesh-a-rural-urban-divide-between-congress-bjp/article25725583.ece

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