New Delhi: The narrowness of the margin of victory for the Congress party in Rajasthan is being attributed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personal connect with the people of the state.

The Modi bounce was a significant factor in restricting the anti-incumbency being faced by the BJP government in the state led by chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

On Tuesday, even as the results saw the Congress emerge as the single largest party after winning 99 seats in the 200-member assembly, the BJP managed to secure a lead in 73 seats, leaving a margin of less than 30 seats between the two parties.

The two parties also had a narrow difference in their vote share with the BJP at 38.8% and the Congress at 39.2%. However, the BJP saw a decline in its vote share from 45.2% in 2013.

Even as the demand for change was a major factor, voters in the state felt a connect with the BJP due to the personal charisma of Modi and the work done by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.

“The resentment against Vasundhara Raje was so strong that the party wanted to deflect the attention of the voters from issues related to state government to national issues, which included the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While we succeeded in changing the narrative in the state, it was clearly not enough," said a senior BJP functionary and election strategist.

“This election was not about whether people want Modi as PM or not, yet the BJP got tremendous support of the people and it became clear that Modi is the most popular leader," the leader added.

In the run-up to election, PM Modi held more than 10 public meetings and a roadshow in Jaipur which crisscrossed 13 assembly constituencies.

Analysts point out that anti-incumbency was the biggest factor against the BJP in this election.

“The BJP has been reduced to 73 seats from 163 which they won in the last election. Anti-incumbency was a big factor in this election which led to votes being cast against the state government. In Rajasthan, Narendra Modi was not a deciding factor. He may not have been able to make the same inroads in the state," said R.D. Gurjar, former principal of the University Rajasthan College, Jaipur.

Close