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In Numbers: How the BJP Painted the Country Saffron, Improving its 2014 Performance

A closer look at the constituency-level performance of the BJP this time shows that the number of seats where the party polled more than half the total votes saw a 65 per cent increase.

Fazil Khan | News18.com

Updated:May 25, 2019, 10:39 PM IST
In Numbers: How the BJP Painted the Country Saffron, Improving its 2014 Performance
Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays the victory symbol upon arrival at the party headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday. (Image : AP)

With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning 303 of the 543 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi became the first Prime Minister to return with a full-majority since Indira Gandhi in 1971. The saffron party also became the first to win more than 300 Lok Sabha seats since 1984, when the Congress, led by Rajiv Gandhi, had won over 400 seats.

The BJP's victory in 2019 is bigger and more widespread than the one in 2014, which many had termed as a 'Black Swan' moment. As the party and its leadership proved that its electoral success in 2014 was not just a chance event, News18.com analyses what propelled the BJP to the top.

Although it is pretty clear that the BJP improved on its 2014 tally, a closer look at the constituency-level performance shows that the number of seats where the party polled more than half the total votes saw a 65 per cent increase over 2014. Simply put, BJP won 224 constituencies with over 50 per cent of the votes in 2019 compared with 136 in 2014. The highest vote-share for a BJP candidate was recorded in Surat, Gujarat, who polled 74.5 per cent of the total votes.

At least 15 of BJP candidates won with a margin of over 5 lakh votes. This included party president Amit Shah from Gandhinagar in Gujarat, Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma from West Delhi, and VK Singh from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. In 2014, there were only 6 such candidates among the elected BJP candidates.

On a macroscopic level, the BJP garnered more than half of the total votes across the 11 states and two Union Territories (UT), the highest being in Himachal Pradesh where it received 69.11 per cent. Other major wins have been in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan among others where the 2014 tally was increased. Also, when taking the vote share of its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) into account, two more states – Bihar and Maharashtra – also made the cut. Tripura and Uttar Pradesh, however, fell short with 49 and 49.5 per cent of votes. On the national level, the saffron party gathered a vote share of around 38 per cent.

Several analyses, based on vote share and caste-based arithmetic, in the run-up to the elections, had suggested that the BJP may find it difficult to hold its fort in the Hindi-heartland. In states where the party had won all the available seats in 2014, it was assumed that it may not be able to repeat the feat, especially in the aftermath of the Assembly election results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh in 2018 and Gujarat in 2017.

However, the landslide win across states ensured that the party retained what it had in 2014 and increased. The BJP retained nearly 80 per cent of its seats won in 2014. In contrast the grand old party could only manage to hold on to 37 per cent of the seats it won in 2014.

As far as a clean sweep is concerned, BJP won all the seats in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Goa in 2014. This time, the saffron party once again made a clean sweep in all states except Goa. The list included this time, as opposed to 2014, included Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP secured 28 of the 29 seats and in Bihar it drew a major win in 39 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats, along with alliance partners Janata Dal (United) and Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJP).

In contrast to this, BJP's main rival, Congress, has failed to open its account in 20 states and UTs and only managed to win seats in double-digits in Kerala.

In what could be seen as a vindication of NDA's schemes, the opposition alliance remained successful on 60 per cent of the seats in 115 of the poorest districts in the country. Also, while the BJP had fielded just six Muslim candidates out of a total 436, no elected BJP MP is a Muslim.

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