Considered as Traditional BJP Supporters, Are Urban Voters Shifting Base? Jharkhand Polls an Eye-opener
Out of the 44 urban or semi-urban seats in Jharkhand, BJP was ahead in only 13 constituencies, whereas the opposition took the commanding position with leads/wins in 29 seats.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Hemant Soren.
New Delhi: Inching closer to add just 22 seats in its kitty, the Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to face a huge defeat in Jharkhand at the hands of the opposition alliance — if the trends till 4pm convert into final results.
As things stand, the Congress-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance is on its way to win nearly 48 seats in the 81-member house.
A closer look at the results shows that a shift in the saffron party's urban vote-base was the driver of its drubbing in the state. Out of the 44 urban or semi-urban seats in Jharkhand, BJP was ahead in only 13 constituencies, whereas the opposition took the commanding position with leads/wins in 29 seats.
This is in sharp contrast to what the outcome was in 2014. The BJP had secured 27 of these 44 seats in 2014, while its then ally All Jharkhand Students' Union (AJSU) party won from five others. The opposition managed to secure six seats of these seats.
Urban voters are considered to be traditional BJP supporters and a shift in these elections is what may have caused BJP's demise.
The loss in Jharkhand comes a little over a month after the BJP failed to form the government in Maharashtra after its pre-poll ally Shiv Sena broke the alliance post-results. The Sena later formed the government led by party chief Uddhav Thackerey with the support of the Nationalist Congress Party and Congress.
Moreover, the BJP's vote-share in Jharkhand has reduced to 33 per cent, which is more than 20 percentage points — lower than what the party had registered during the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year in May. This trend of a fall in vote-share between Lok Sabha and state assembly election is not just limited to Jharkhand.
In Maharashtra, where the BJP had secured a contested vote-share of 53 per cent during the Lok Sabha elections, the party could only poll 45 per cent of the votes in the constituencies that it contested.
Similarly, in Haryana, BJP had polled more than 58 per cent of votes during the Lok Sabha elections which plummeted to 36 per cent during the assembly elections held in the state in October.
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