As Narendra Modi-led BJP stormed 2019 Lok Sabha elections, getting an unprecedented vote share and made a thumping comeback for the second term, the Congress has reduced itself to irrelevance with the party president losing its ‘family seat’ of Amethi by over 50,000 votes to BJP’s Smriti Irani.
During the run-up to the elections, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul Gandhi’s sister was catapulted into the active political landscape and was projected as the force that will pave way for her brother to become the Prime Minister of India. Unfortunately, while Congress remains in denial about lack of leadership skills and public appeal of the Gandhi siblings, the numbers are out for all to see.
Earlier this month, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had invariably admitted that that the Congress and BSP, SP alliance has a tacit understanding on the ground that the political sparring is a mere ploy to fool the voters. In her statement to the media, she admitted that where Congress’ position is weak in Uttar Pradesh, the party has fielded ‘vote-cutters’, thereby reducing the grand old party to a fringe party. Vote cutters would be candidates that would not win but eat into the vote share of BJP thereby helping the BSP or SP candidate from that constituency.
A day later, she did a u-turn, saying that none of their candidates are ‘vote cutters’ (or vote katua as they are referred to at times) and they are all strong enough to win themselves. The election results, however, show a different picture.
In Badaun, the BJP candidate Dr Sanghmitra Maurya got 5,11,352 votes whereas the Samajwadi Party candidate Dharmendra Yadav got 4,92,898 votes, thereby losing the elections by 18,454 votes. The Congress candidate in Badaun, Salim Iqbal Shervani had attained 51,947 votes. The victory margin was way less than the votes garnered by Congress in Badaun.
Similarlyin Banda, BJP got 4,77,926 votes, SP got 4,18,988 votes and Congress ended with 75,438 votes. The victory margin here was 58,938 votes. In Barabanki, the victory margin was 1,10,140 whereas Congress got 1,59,611 votes. In Basi, the victory margin was 30,354 and Congress had clocked in 86,920 votes.
In Dhaurahra, Congress got 1,62,856 votes while the victory margin was 1,60,611. In Machhlishahr, where Congress fielded its ally, Jan Adhikar Party’s Amarnath Paswan, ended up with more votes (7,622) than the winning margin (181). In Meerut, the victory margin was only 4,729 votes while the Congress got 34,479 votes.
In Sant Kabir Nagar, where the victory margin was only 35,749 votes but Congress candidate got 1,28,506 votes. And in Sultanpur, where the BJP had fielded Maneka Gandhi, the BJP got 4,59,196 votes and the BSP candidate got 4,44,670 votes. The victory margin was 14,526 votes. Congress’ Sanjay Sinh ended third in Sultanpur with 41,681 votes.
So essentially, the party which thought it would cut into BJP’s vote share inadvertently ended up cutting into the mahagathbandhan’s vote-share, thereby costing them additional 8 seats which may have got into their lap had Congress not fielded their ‘weak’ candidates.
while BJP ended with 9 seats less in Uttar Pradesh as compared to 2014 elections, with a final tally of 64 seats, the vote share has gone up from 42.3% to 49.6%. While the Congress vote share stands at 6%.