You are on page 1of 5

12/15/2018 Analysis: Congress benefits from going solo in Madhya Pradesh - The Hindu

MADHYA PRADESH 2018

Analysis: Congress benefits from going solo in Madhya Pradesh

https://www.thehindu.com/elections/madhya-pradesh-assembly-elections-2018/analysis-congress-benefits-from-going-solo-in-madhya-pradesh/article25745814.ece?homepage=true 1/5
12/15/2018 Analysis: Congress benefits from going solo in Madhya Pradesh - The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/elections/madhya-pradesh-assembly-elections-2018/analysis-congress-benefits-from-going-solo-in-madhya-pradesh/article25745814.ece?homepage=true 2/5
12/15/2018 Analysis: Congress benefits from going solo in Madhya Pradesh - The Hindu

Vikas Pathak
N EW DELHI, DECEMBER 1 4 , 201 8 22:4 4 IS T
U PDATED: DECEMBER 1 4 , 201 8 22:50 IS T

Win reinforces Rahul’s leadership

Much had been written about the need for the Congress to ally with the BSP to defeat the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and
Chhattisgarh, some predicting that the grand old party had shot itself in the foot by not being able to tie up with Mayawati.

However, the Congress could sweep Chhattisgarh alone — an alliance between the BSP and Ajit Jogi notwthstanding — and almost
reached the majority mark in MP.

https://www.thehindu.com/elections/madhya-pradesh-assembly-elections-2018/analysis-congress-benefits-from-going-solo-in-madhya-pradesh/article25745814.ece?homepage=true 3/5
12/15/2018 Analysis: Congress benefits from going solo in Madhya Pradesh - The Hindu

The Congress bagged 113 out of 230 seats with 40.9% votes in MP while the BSP won two seats with 5% of the votes. In 2013, the
BSP had bagged four seats and secured 6.3% votes.

Limited in uence
The BSP has had zones of influence in the Chambal and Baghelkhand regions of the State.

Following the declaration of results, Ms. Mayawati promptly declared her support for the Congress.
When Ms Mayawati had announced her own candidates for the state polls, Congress leaders had said her demand for 50 seats in
the State was tantamount to punching far above her weight.
“Had the Congress agreed to give the BSP 50 seats, the BSP would have done well but the Congress would have lost both vote share
and seats, and its seat share would probably have been below the BJP, even if the alliance would have won a majority,” says political
analyst Sajjan Kumar, who toured MP for more than a month. “A bolstered BSP would have meant bargaining for a grand alliance
seat sharing in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 would have become tougher. A victory in alliance would also have denied Congress workers
the self-belief that a direct victory brings,” he added.

Dr. Kumar also has a more nuanced point: “The present election has seen a farmers' identity emerge in MP, due to agriculture not
remaining profitable. This is to the advantage of the Congress. Victory in alliance with the BSP would have brought the faultline
between Dalits and Hindutva to the fore, and identity politics remains a weak area for the Congress.”

It is also unknown whether upper castes and OBCs would have voted for BSP candidates in large numbers, given the fact that
there was an undercurrent of polarisation over the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the State.

A straight victory has enthused not just Congress workers but also established party president Rahul Gandhi’s ability to deliver
when in a direct fight with the ruling BJP.

https://www.thehindu.com/elections/madhya-pradesh-assembly-elections-2018/analysis-congress-benefits-from-going-solo-in-madhya-pradesh/article25745814.ece?homepage=true 4/5
12/15/2018 Analysis: Congress benefits from going solo in Madhya Pradesh - The Hindu

Printable version | Dec 15, 2018 10:53:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/madhya-pradesh-assembly-elections-


2018/analysis-congress-benefits-from-going-solo-in-madhya-pradesh/article25745814.ece

© The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/elections/madhya-pradesh-assembly-elections-2018/analysis-congress-benefits-from-going-solo-in-madhya-pradesh/article25745814.ece?homepage=true 5/5