Despite wins, Congress failed to be an active opposition and harness farmer anger

12 December 2018
Delhi has witnessed a slew of farmers’ protests over the past two years, demanding remunerative prices for farm produce, loan waiver and procurement price support, among other issues.
Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times/Getty Images
Delhi has witnessed a slew of farmers’ protests over the past two years, demanding remunerative prices for farm produce, loan waiver and procurement price support, among other issues.
Burhaan Kinu/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

A breakdown of the results of the recently concluded assembly elections in five states reveals that the Congress’s tally in the three Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has been propelled by agrarian distress and the resulting anger of farmers. A compilation of constituency-wise data shows that the incumbent Bharatiya Janta Party regimes lost a significant number of rural constituencies in the Hindi belt to the Congress.

In Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh—BJP bastions for the past 15 years—the Congress outperformed the BJP by wresting control of a chunk of rural constituencies. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress won 93 rural seats compared to its 2013 tally of 55, while the saffron party won 87 rural seats vis-à-vis its 2013 tally of 125.

In Chhattisgarh, the Congress has won 62 rural seats to the BJP’s 13. Here too, the BJP’s loss was stark— the party lost 30 rural seats compared to its 2013 tally of 43 while the Congress improved its number by 25 seats.

Tushar Dhara is a reporting fellow with The Caravan. He has previously worked with Bloomberg News, Indian Express and Firstpost and as a mazdoor with the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan in Rajasthan.

Keywords: Rajasthan assembly elections 2018 madhya pradesh assembly elections madhya pradesh assembly elections 2018 Chhattisgarh Assembly Elections 2018 Indian National Congress Congress BJP Farmers' Agitation
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