Pankaj Sharma/Zee Research Group
If political rallies are yet an apt barometer to judge voter mind, then BJP might be right in projecting Narendra Modi as its key campaigner. In contrast Rahul Gandhi’s performance on this count has been rather lackluster.
The Gujarat Chief Minister fared much better when it came to converting his public rallies into victory for party candidates in the just concluded assembly polls in four key states. The success rate of Modi in converting his rally into a win for his party candidate far exceeded that of Gandhi.
BJP registered win over 75 per cent assembly seats where Modi held rallies in comparison to 13 per cent by Congress where Gandhi addressed election rallies. Congress lost all seats where Rahul campaigned in Rajasthan and Delhi. Moreover, 27 sitting MLAs of Congress lost where Gandhi actively campaigned this time.
A head-to-head comparison of campaigns/rallies by two national leaders reads like this: Out of 590 assembly seats in four states (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh & Delhi), Modi held 85 rallies covering about 14.5 per cent of seats up for grabs. The Congress leader held 64 public rallies in these states covering about 11 per cent of all seats.
The Zee Research Group (ZRG) study covered election rallies of both leaders between September 12 and November 30, 2013. Between Modi and Gandhi the two together covered in all 149 constituencies.
There were 28 assembly constituencies that witnessed rallies by both Modi and Gandhi.
On both parameters: common constituencies toured by two leaders as also constituencies covered independently by them, Modi have had greater positive impact on the results.
Of the 28 common assembly constituencies campaigned by both leaders, 11 assemblies were in Rajasthan, nine in MP and seven in Chhattisgarh. In Delhi, there was only one such constituency.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress’ star campaigner during assembly polls, covered 64 constituencies across four states. Out of 64 seats, Congress won only eight and lost 56 seats. Of the eight, Congress had won in two constituencies’ during last poll as well.
On the other hand, Narendra Modi, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate campaigned across 85 constituencies in four states. The saffron party succeeded in 64 and lost 21. Out of these 64 seats, 35 were with BJP and 26 with Congress respectively in 2008. However, three seats were bagged by the candidate of non Cong and BJP parties.
Delhi & Rajasthan washout for Congress
For Rahul, while Delhi and Rajasthan were a complete washout, his rallies helped the party in MP and Chhattisgarh. In Delhi, Congress ended losing all 14 seats where Rahul held rallies. In 2008, Congress held nine of the 14 seats.
Likewise in Rajasthan he campaigned in 20 assembly areas without any success. Out of 20, 12 constituencies were with the party in previous state polls.
In MP, Rahul held rallies in 18 assemblies out of which Congress won three. The good thing for the party is that all three seats belonged to BJP in 2008. In Chhattisgarh, out of 12 rallies, party candidates won on seven seats. Only two of them were with Congress in 2008.
Was it Modi or state leaders’ charisma to woo voters?
In MP and Chhattisgarh, Modi held rallies in 26 and 27 assemblies, out of which the saffron party won in 22 and 16 respectively. In MP, Modi’s magic might not be as big, as out of 22, 17 seats were also won by party candidates in last poll. Similarly, in Chhattisgarh out of 16 victorious seats for BJP, nine were sitting MLAs.
In Rajasthan, Modi held rallies in 27 state constituencies, out of which party won 24 seats. Here, out of 24, 14 were belonged to Congress during 2008 elections. In Delhi, BJP won two seats out of five where Modi campaigned for the party.