Gujarat & HP Elections Verdict: Here’s How the Vote Banks Split
The voting trend in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections indicates that while the BJP received its share of votes through all sections of caste and society, the Congress is fast losing its sure footing among communities like the Adivasis, the Dalits and Scheduled Tribes, reports Indian Express.
The closely-fought elections saw BJP come down 16 seats from the 2012 elections and winning with a small majority.
In 2012, the Congress in Gujarat witnessed a steady share of votes from Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and a small portion of Kshatriya and Koli communities.
This time, while the Congress tried to focus on wooing members of the Kshatriya and Patidar communities, the Kshatriyas remained divided between voting for the Congress and the BJP.
Similarly, other than a few numbers from the Hardik Patel camp, a majority from the Patidar community decided to vote for the BJP, the IE report notes.
The Congress also surprisingly lost out on its Muslim vote bank, which receded by six points. The BJP, on the other hand, gained 7 points from the community, with 27 percent of Muslims voting for the party.
Apart from making inroads in the Muslim vote bank, the BJP managed to procure a growing number of votes from the Adivasis, half of whom reportedly voted for the party. The party also managed to gain a sizeable chunk of votes from the Dalit community.
The Split Along Regional Lines in Gujarat
As per the regional vote-share division in Gujarat, the BJP appears to have struck gold in the northern and central parts of Gujarat, with 52 percent of voters from both regions rooting for the party.
The Congress, meanwhile, appears to have catapulted to the lead in Saurashtra, where it polled 48 percent of the votes against BJP’s 45 percent.
Vote Share By Occupation
Although the Congress lost the chief ministerial race in Gujarat, the party has clearly made in-roads in the state. The party has increased its vote share in almost all the occupation-based communities.
The BJP, however, has considerably lost out in its vote share, despite securing a victory. The biggest dip in vote share was witnessed in the ‘large/medium businesses’ chunk, where the party lost close to 39 percent of its voters. The Congress, meanwhile, gained new votes from the agricultural workers section of the vote bank.
Himachal Pradesh Elections
In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP got a considerably larger share of the Brahmin and Rajput vote in their pocket.
The Congress, meanwhile, gained among the Muslim community, with over 67 percent voting for the party. Both parties polled nearly equal votes from the Adivasi community, Indian Express notes.
The Dalits, meanwhile, appeared to prefer the BJP over the Congress, with nearly half the population voting for the party.
How Did Income Level Affect Voting Patterns in Himachal Pradesh?
In the Himachal Pradesh elections, 48 percent from the ‘poor’ income level voted for the BJP, 40 percent voted for the Congress, and 12 percent voted for other parties and independent candidates.
Similarly, 51 percent of the lower income groups voted for the BJP, while only 41 percent voted for the Congress and 8 percent voted for other parties and independent candidates, reported Indian Express.
However, a change in vote share was witnessed in the ‘rich’ income category, with the Congress gaining 45 percent vote share, and the BJP faring slightly worse at 43 percent.
(With inputs from Indian Express)
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