BJP uses PM Modi as its star campaigner to turn the tide, but while this strategy had some impact in MP and Rajasthan, it drew a blank in Chhattisgarh.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a relatively low strike rate in terms of translating his rallies into success for BJP candidates, which could be one of the factors responsible for the party’s failure to retain power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Across the three states, Modi addressed rallies in 27 constituencies out of which the BJP is leading in 13 — a strike rate of 48 per cent. His four rallies in Chhattisgarh drew a complete blank.
But BJP leaders have rushed to Modi’s defence, saying the polls were not a referendum on the PM.
“In MP, it is Shivraj Singh Chouhan who is the face of the party. Likewise, it is Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan. The PM could only appeal for votes. Anti-incumbency has hit the governments in these states,” said a senior BJP leader.
Strategists in the BJP, in the last four-and-a-half years, have reposed a lot of faith in the PM to turn the tide in places where it feels it might lose. This reflected clearly in Rajasthan, where the party brass banked heavily on his rallies in the last few days.
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State-wise break up
PM Modi addressed four rallies in Chhattisgarh — Jagdalpur, Bilaspur, Ambikapur and Mahasamund — and by late evening on counting day, the Congress was leading by big margins in all four seats. In 2013, the BJP had won the first two seats, while Congress won Ambikapur and an Independent had won Mahasamund.
In Rajasthan, the PM addressed rallies in 13 constituencies (his rally in Kota served both Kota North and Kota South). Of these, the BJP led in seven (a strike rate of 53 per cent), while in 2013, it had won all 13.
In Madhya Pradesh, the PM addressed rallies in 10 seats. Of these, the BJP was leading in six (a strike rate of 60 per cent), but in 2013, it had won nine of them.
Past strike rate
The PM’s performance this time is worse than his past record. In Uttar Pradesh, for example, his 23 rallies were to target people of 118 seats, and the BJP won 99 of these at a spectacular strike rate of 86.4 per cent.
In neighbouring Uttarakhand, too, the PM had a strike rate of 80 per cent, winning 20 of the 25 seats he targeted.
In Karnataka, he addressed 21 rallies, an average of three each day he spent in the state. His success rate was 57.14 per cent.
In Manipur, meanwhile, the BJP had won 13 of the 26 seats where he addressed rallies, a 50 per cent strike rate, while in Punjab, amid an anti-Akali-BJP wave, the PM still managed a success rate of 40 per cent (four of 10 seats).
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