Assembly Polls Reduce Gap Between PM Modi and Rahul Gandhi?
Impact of public rallies in campaign
NEW DELHI: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has caught up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi insofar as impact on the voters is concerned. A careful analysis of the of their respective rallies in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan establishes that while PM Modi remains a charismatic figure in terms of personal impact, the Congress leader is fast catching up.
The Chhattisgarh voter seemed to have been the most decisive. The Congress got a decisive victory here, winning 68 of the 90 Assembly constituencies. Rahul Gandhi addressed rallies influencing 17 constituencies of which the Congress won 14 seats, of which ten were previously held by the BJP.
On the other hand PM Modi’s impact in this state seems to have diminished substantially. He addressed four rallies in Jagidshpur, Bilaspur, Ambikapur and Mahasamund. Out of these four constituencies Jagdalpur and Bilaspur were previously with the BJP and the other two with the Congress. He was unable to check the tide despite this, with the Congress winning all the four seats.
In Chhattisgarh, the strike rate of PM Modi was 0% while Rahul Gandhi conversion rate was 82.35%.
Rajasthan presented a more complicated picture for the two leaders. PM Modi held rallies in 12 constituencies in this state out of which BJP won 7 constituencies making his strike rate 58.3%. However, he was not able to translate his aura into favourable votes in the constituencies of Alwar- rural, Hanumangarh, Sikar where he addressed public rallies. These seats were earlier with the BJP and have now been won by the Congress party.
BJP lost its grip over eastern parts of Rajasthan and Central Rajasthan which was predominantly saffron in the 2013 Lok Sabha polls.
Rahul Gandhi also addressed rallies in impacting ten constituencies in Rajasthan out of which Congress won just four constituencies. His strike rate is thus, 33.3%. The four constituencies include Hanumangarh, Pokaran, Jodhpur and Alwar as pointed out earlier and had voted for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls. The results also indicate a shift in the voting behaviour of the dominant Jat community in Rajasthan that has favoured the Congress over the BJP.
Madhya Pradesh that turned into a nail biter for both the BJP and Congress gives PM Modi a slightly better strike rate insofar as the conversion into votes of his public rallies are concerned. He addressed rallies impacting on 10 constituencies, of which the BJP won six leading to a conversion rate of 60%. Rahul Gandhi held rallies in 10 constituencies, with the Congress winning four of these. His strike rate was thus 40 per cent.
PM Modi addressed Gwalior and Jabalpur constituencies which combined have 8 Assembly seats. Of these 8 seats, 6 went to Congress. Rahul Gandhi did not address the public but visited a temple in Gwalior and performed an aarti ritual in Jabalpur.