Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is round the corner and the Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to declare the poll schedule in the first week of March. We are also gearing up for the elections and are coming up with a series: Election Analysis: What happened in Rajasthan in 2014 Lok Sabha Polls? What will happen in 2019? Let us look at the political scenario in the state of Rajasthan. The Congress is ruling the state now under the collective leadership of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot. Gehlot is the chief minister for the third time now after his stints in 1998-2003 and 2008-2013. The BJP lost the Assembly elections recently and Vasundhara Raje had to resign as the chief minister. Raje first became the chief minister in 2003 and again in 2013. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP created history by grabbing all the 25 seats in the state. The Congress drew a blank and lost the elections miserably. Several Congress ministers lost the elections. Let's discuss this in detail.
What happened in Rajasthan in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections?
In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, the BJP defeated the Congress convincingly and won all the parliamentary seats in Rajasthan. The 2014 polls in Rajasthan were held in two phases on April 17 and 24. The state sends 25 members in the Lok Sabha. The BJP received 1,48,95,106 votes with a vote share of 55.61 per cent, while the Congress was able to garner 82,30,164 votes in the state with a vote share of 30.73 per cent. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) got 2.37 per cent of a vote share in the state. In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress had registered a thumping victory in the state with 20 seats and the BJP was reduced to just 4 seats. However, this was completely reversed in 2014.
Some of the prominent winners in 2014 were Gajendrasingh Shekhawat (BJP-Jodhpur), Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (BJP-Jaipur Rural), Sanwar Lal Jat (BJP-Ajmer), Rahul Kaswan (BJP-Churu), Sonaram Choudhary (BJP-Barmer), Subhash Baheria (BJP-Bhilwara), Dushyant Singh (BJP-Jhalawar Baran), Bahadur Singh Koli (BJP-Bharatpur), Arjun Ram Meghwal (BJP-Bikaner), Arjunlal Meena (BJP-Udaipur), Nihalchand (BJP-Ganganagar) and Ramcharan Bohara (BJP-Jaipur).
Sachin Pilot (Congress), Jaswant Singh (Independent), Girija Vyas (Congress), Chandresh Kumari Katoch (Congress), Namo Narain Meena (Congress), Kirodi Lal Meena (NPP), CP Joshi (Congress), Mohammed Azharuddin (Congress), Mahesh Joshi (Congress), Bhanwar Jitendra Singh (Congress), Jyoti Mirdha (Congress), Harish Chaudhary (Congress), Shankar Pannu (Congress), Raj Bala Ola (Congress) and Subhash Maharia (Independent) lost the elections.
What was the result of Rajasthan Assembly Elections in 2018?
Rajasthan went for Assembly elections along with Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh and Telangana in 2018. The Congress ousted the BJP and won 99 seats in the 200-member strong Assembly with a vote share of 39.30 per cent. The party later increased its tally to 100 in the Assembly after its victory in Ramgarh and touched the halfway mark. The election to the Ramgarh Assembly seat was postponed due to the death of the BSP candidate ahead of December 7 Assembly elections. The Congress received 1,39,35,201 votes in the state. The BJP was able to get 1,37,57,502 votes with a vote share of 38.80 per cent. The party won 73 Assembly seats. So, the vote share difference between both the main parties was a mere 0.50 per cent.
The BSP won 6 seats with a vote share of 4 per cent. The newly-formed Rashtriya Loktantrik Party (RLP) of BJP rebel Hanuman Beniwal received a vote share of 2.4 per cent and won 3 Assembly seats. In 2013 Assembly elections, the BJP registered a massive victory in Rajasthan and won 163 Assembly seats while the Congress was completely decimated with only 21 seats.
What is the current scenario in 2019?
Both the Congress and the BJP will have a direct confrontation in the state in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019. The BJP will try to retain its 25 seats while the resurgent Congress will challenge it. In 2018 Assembly elections, the Congress was ahead on 12 seats whereas the BJP was leading on 13 Lok Sabha seats. The BJP lost the two Lok Sabha seats at the beginning of 2018 when the party received a thrashing at the hands of the Congress party in Alwar and Ajmer bypolls. BJP MPs Mahant Chand Nath and Sanwar Lal Jat died in the middle of their terms thereby necessitating the bypolls. Jat had defeated Congress heavyweight Sachin Pilot in Ajmer in 2014 and became the minister in the Modi Cabinet. However, the BJP couldn't retain the seat after his death and BJP candidate Ramswaroop Lamba was defeated by Congress leader Raghu Sharma.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje. (File photo: PTI)
In Alwar also, Congress candidate Karan Singh Yadav overwhelmed BJP leader Jaswant Singh Yadav. The BJP got another jolt when Harish Meena, party's sitting member from Dausa Lok Sabha seat, joined the Congress in presence of Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot.
What is News Nation Opinion Poll verdict in Rajasthan?
According to News Nation Opinion Poll, the BJP is likely to get 40 per cent of vote share in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The Congress may get 35 per cent of votes, while the other parties are likely to secure 10 per cent of vote share. The BJP may win 16 seats, the Congress can win 9 seats in 2019. So, the BJP is projected to lose 9 seats in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Rajasthan.
According to a poll, the BJP may not repeat its 2014 performance in Rajasthan but will remain the leading party whereas the Congress is not likely to get the advantage of its state government in capturing the most seats in the state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a massive lead over Rahul Gandhi in Rajasthan when the respondents were asked about their favourite Prime Ministerial candidate in 2019. Modi got the backing of 47 per cent people, while only 31 per cent chose Rahul Gandhi.