Kamal Nath. (Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times via GettyImages) 
Snapshot
  • Key reasons why the BJP lost this election: unexpected losses in urban pockets driven by MLA level anti-incumbency and poor performance in the tribal belt.

The recently concluded Madhya Pradesh assembly elections produced a close contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The Congress emerged as the winner, bagging 114 seats, just two short of the half-way mark of 116.

The following 10 data points summarise this closely fought elections.

1. The tribal belt of the state voted overwhelmingly against the BJP. This was one of the main reasons for the party’s loss. Close to 22 per cent of the state’s population is tribal.

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  • General seats: 148 (BJP: 74, BSP: 2, Congress: 68, independents: three, Samajwadi Party: one)
  • Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved seats: 35 (BJP: 18, Congress: 17)
  • Scheduled Tribes (ST) reserved seats: 47 (BJP: 17, Congress 29, independents: one)

2. Of the 29 ST reserved seats which Congress won, 25 were won with a margin of more than 10,000 votes, a big difference for the state.

3. Ten seats were decided with a margin of less than 1,000 votes.

  • BJP won three

· Jaora in Mandsour Lok Sabha (511 votes)
· Bina, SC seat in Sagar Lok Sabha (632 votes)
· Kolaras in Guna Lok Sabha (720 votes)

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  • Congress won seven

· Gwalior South in Gwalior Lok Sabha (121 votes)
· Susware in Mandour Lok Sabha (350 seats)
· Jabalpur North in Jabalpur Lok Sabha (578 votes)
· Rajnagar in Khajuraho Lok Sabha (732 votes)
· Damoh in Damoh Lok Sabha (798 votes)
· Biaora in Rajgarh Lok Sabha (826 votes)
· Rajpur, ST seat in Khargone Lok Sabha (932 votes)

4. Gwalior South, Jabalpur North, and Damoh are traditional BJP seats – these were collectively lost by 1,651 votes by the BJP.

  • Sameeksha Gupta, ex-mayor of Gwalior, contested the Gwalior South seat as rebel and got 30,745 votes.
  • Dheeraj Pateria, ex-chief of state Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha contested the Jabalpur North seat as rebel and got 29,479 votes.
  • Jayant Malaiya has been representing the Damoh seat since 1990. There was perhaps a need for change of name on this seat, which the BJP overlooked. Damoh also had a rebel candidate in Ramkumar Kusumaria – old BJP hand. He polled 1,133 votes, 335 more than the winning margin.

In fact, Ramkumar Kusumariya also contested the nearby Pathariya seat. The BJP lost this seat to Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) by 2,205 votes. Kusumaria polled 8,755 votes.

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Without Sameeksha Gupta, Dheeraj Pateria, and Ramkumar Kusumaria contesting these elections, the tally could have been 113 to 111 in favour of BJP and Bahujan Samaj Party would have been limited to one seat.

5. Only five seats were decided by a margin of more than 50,000 votes.

  • Dabara, SC seat in Gwalior Lok Sabha – Imarti Devi of Congress (57,446 votes)
  • Budhni in Vidisha Lok Sabha – Shivraj Singh Chouhan of BJP (58,999 votes)
  • Chitrangi in Sidhi Lok Sabha – Amar Singh of BJP (59,248 votes)
  • Kukshi in Dhar Lok Sabha – Surendra Singh Baghel of Congress (62,930 votes)
  • Indore-2 in Indore Lok Sabha – Ramesh Mendola of BJP (71,011 votes)

Ramesh Mendola had also won with the highest margin in the state in the 2013 election from the same seat.

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6. If the assembly votes are aggregated by the Lok Sabha constituencies, BJP would win 17 seats and Congress 12 seats.

7. By Lok Sabha aggregation, the most one-sided results came from:

  • Rewa (all eight seats to BJP)
  • Chhindwara (all seven seats to Congress)
  • Gwalior (seven out of eight seats to Congress)
  • Mandsour (seven out of eight seats to BJP)
  • Morena (seven out of eight seats to Congress)
  • Sagar (seven out of eight seats to BJP)
  • Sidhi (seven out of eight seats to BJP)

8. BJP lost some ground in the most urban areas, traditionally its strongholds. The five biggest urban areas, all tilted away to some extent from the BJP. Currently it holds all the five Lok Sabha seats.

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  • Bhopal (BJP: five, Congress three)
  • Gwalior (BJP: one, Congress seven)
  • Indore (BJP: four, Congress four)
  • Jabalpur (BJP: four, Congress four)
  • Ujjain (BJP: three, Congress five)

9. The BJP lost two key city seats in the capital Bhopal - Bhopal Madhya and Bhopal Dakshin Paschim. The party had won both the seats in 2008 and 2013. Both the seats were formed as part of the 2008 delimitation.

10. This election saw not just the BJP losing its strong seats, but Congress also was at the receiving end. From the 2013 election, when it won 59 seats in the assembly, the party lost 27 seats! The seats which Congress lost from 2013, along with the Lok Sabha seat mapping is: Amarpatan (Satna), Ater (Bhind), Barwani (Khargone), Basoda (Vidisha), Beohari (Sidhi), Bhagwanpura (Khargone), Chitrangi (Sidhi), Churahat (Sidhi), Gurh (Rewa), Harda (Betul), Ichhawar (Vidisha), Jabera (Damoh), Jatara (Tikamgarh), Keolari (Mandla), Khargapur (Tikamgarh), Kolaras (Guna), Maihar (Satna), Mandla (Mandla), Mauganj (Rewa), Nagod (Satna), Narsinghgarh (Rajgarh), Paraswada (Balaghat), Patan (Jabalpur), Pawai (Khajurajo), Sironj (Sagar), Vijaypur (Morena), and Vijayraghavgarh (Khajuraho).

Key reasons why the BJP lost this election: unexpected losses in urban pockets driven by MLA level anti-incumbency and poor performance in the tribal belt.

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An additional, interesting data point to end: Since 1967, Khargone assembly seat has always voted for the party which goes on to govern in Bhopal. Khargone voted Congress in 2018.

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