New Delhi: The BJP has won 61 of 65 Lok Sabha seats in the three Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan that the Congress won in the Assembly polls barely five months ago. The saffron party has bagged 28 of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 24 of 25 in Rajasthan and nine of 11 in Chhattisgarh.
The Congress, its main competitor, was left with just three seats in the states it governs, exactly its tally of 2014. In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress managed to bag just Chhindwara, from where Chief Minister Kamal Nath’s son Nakul Kamal Nath won by 37,536 votes. Kamal Nath, a long time MP from Chhindwara, had to vacate the seat when he took over as chief minister in December last by elbowing out BJP’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan government. Nakul Nath got 5.86 lakh votes over his nearest rival BJP’s Nathansaha Kawreti’s 5.48 lakh votes.
The BJP wave swept away senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who lost his stronghold Guna constituency in the state. Scindia, a scion of the erstwhile royal family, lost the seat by a margin of over 1.25 lakh votes to BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh. In the 2014 general elections, BJP won 27 seats and lost two seats — Guna and Chhindwara — to Congress. In neighbouring Chhattisgarh, where BJP changed all its sitting Lok Sabha members, the saffron party won nine seats, leaving Congress with just the Bastar and Korba constituencies. Both these seats were won by the BJP in 2014. BJP won 10 of 11 seats in Chhattisgarh in the last Lok Sabha polls.
Chhattisgarh also saw a change of government last year. Three-time chief minister Raman Singh lost to Congress party in the Assembly elections. Bhupesh Baghel is now the chief minister of Naxal-affected state after 15 years of BJP rule. In Rajasthan, the Congress, led by Ashok Gehlot in the state, could not win a single Lok Sabha seat. While the BJP took away 24, the remaining seat of Nagaur was bagged by newly formed Rashtriya Loktantrik Party’s Hanuman Beniwal. Beniwal, who formed the party ahead of the Assembly polls in the state, got 6.55 lakh votes against Congress’ Jyoti Mirdha’s 4.76 lakh votes. The BJP won all the 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan in the 2014 polls.