The role of castes and communities in Madhya Pradesh vote share

From consolidating vote base in traditional grounds to making in roads into new communities, the BJP seems to have fared quite well in this election

December 07, 2023 01:30 am | Updated 01:30 am IST

The BJP managed to attract more OBCs and Adivasis in 2023 compared to 2018. File

The BJP managed to attract more OBCs and Adivasis in 2023 compared to 2018. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Despite its rhetoric over the question of caste census, Congress failed to make a dent in the OBC vote. Thus, BJP’s landslide victory was shaped by an accretion from most social sections, including the OBCs of Madhya Pradesh. Besides consolidating among its upper caste voter base, the BJP this time managed to attract more OBCs and Adivasis compared to 2018.

The Congress stayed significantly ahead of the BJP among SC communities, while other parties bagged 16%. The BSP polled 19% of the Jatav votes; with the Congress securing almost half the Jatav votes. Among the tribal voters, the Congress maintained an advantage over the BJP. The vote share was the closest among the Bhil community with a difference of only 4% between the Congress and BJP. The Congress secured half or more of the votes of other tribal communities; while the BJP managed more than a third of the votes. Congress did get overwhelming support among Muslims, though their population in the State is barely 7%—hardly enough to help the Congress make an impact. As mentioned above, with BJP gaining among Upper Castes, the Congress found very thin support among these sections, including the Rajputs, compared to 2018.

In conclusion, it is clear that the BJP has consolidated its traditional upper caste vote bank, along with making significant inroads into the OBC communities in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress’s vote among the SC, ST and minority communities is not large enough to match the BJP’s social bloc.

(Sanjay Kumar is Professor and Co-director Lokniti-CSDS); Aadyot Prakash is a researcher at Lokniti-CSDS)

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