Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh): With a couple of days left for poll results, both Congress and BJP, along with independents, are making tall claims of their victories here in Ratlam district, thanks to the massive 83.66 per cent turnout. As per the data available, voting percentage this time is 1.75 per cent higher than the 2018 elections, where the total voting percentage in Ratlam stood at around 81.91 per cent.
With all the political pundits in the district calculating their permutation combinations and analysing who will benefit from this slim increase in voting percentage, Free Press analysed the last four assembly elections. They found that the increase in voting percentage could potentially impact the outcome of the election, as it has in the past. This analysis highlights the significance of voter turnout and its potential to sway election results. In this, the BJP benefited most of the time in Ratlam City, Ratlam Rural, and Jaora, while Congress got an edge over its rival party in Sailana three out of four times, while in Alot both got the advantage twice.
RATLAM CITY: The trend of the BJP's victory in Ratlam City assembly constituency has been consistent, occurring three times in the past. However, there was one instance where an independent candidate emerged victorious. This pattern has been observed whenever there is an increase in voter turnout in the constituency.
In 2003, the victory margin was only 1.86 per cent, and the BJP's Himmat Kothari won from this seat. During that period, 68.45 per cent of voting took place, which was 9.23 per cent more than in 1998. In 2008, when independent candidate Paras Saklecha got the benefit of a 0.76 per cent increase in votes, he won, and Congress remained in third place. When voting was reduced by 0.50 per cent in 2013, the BJP benefited from it, and Chaitanya Kashyap won. In 2018, voting increased by 4.56 per cent, and again, the BJP got the advantage, and Chaitanya Kashyap was victorious. This time in 2023, voting has increased by 0.2 per cent.
RATLAM RURAL: The Ratlam Rural constituency witnessed an interesting trend during the last four elections. As per the available data, whenever the voting percentage decreases, it favours Congress, and when it increases, it favours the BJP. In Ratlam Rural assembly constituency, voting increased by 7.13 per cent in 2003, and the BJP's Dhulji Chaudhary won here. The victory margin was 8.6 per cent. In 2008, when voting decreased by 2.70 per cent, Congress got the advantage, and Lakshmidevi Kharadi of Congress won. In 2013, when 5.75 per cent of votes increased, BJP's Mathuralal Damar won, and in 2018, when 6.24 per cent of votes increased, BJP's Dilip Makwana won. In 2013, the victory margin was 19.5 per cent, and in 2018, it was 3.47 per cent.
SAILANA: Congress retained upper hand three times in cases of increased voting, and the BJP once. This suggests that the Congress has had a stronger influence on voter turnout compared to the BJP. In 2003, there were 4.67 per cent more voting and 7.81 per cent more voting in 2008. Congress's Prabhudayal Gehlot won both times. The victory margins were 9.43 and 6.41, respectively. In 2013, despite an increase in voting turnout of 3.42 per cent, the BJP's Sangeeta Charel won for the first time. The margin of victory was only 1.46. In 2018, despite increasing the votes by 5.51 per cent, Congress's Harsh Vijay Gehlot again won. The margin of victory was 17.32. Now in 2023, only 0.95 per cent of votes have increased.
JAORA: It's interesting to see that the BJP emerged victorious despite experiencing both an increase and a decrease in voting turnout. This outcome highlights the party's ability to secure support from diverse sections of the electorate, regardless of fluctuations in overall participation. In 2003 and 2018, BJP's Dr Rajendra Pandey emerged victorious even though there was a triangular contest and a quadrangular contest, respectively.
In 2008, when votes increased by 2.10 per cent, Mahendra Singh Kalukheda of the Congress won, and in 2013, when votes increased by 0.44 per cent, Dr Rajendra Pandey of the BJP won. This time, Jeevan Singh Sherpur has created a triangular situation.
ALOT: Both the BJP and Congress emerged victorious twice whenever voting percentages increased. This suggests that the voting patterns in these elections have favoured both the BJP and Congress parties. Their success is directly linked to a higher voter turnout, indicating a strong support base for both parties among the electorate. In 2003 voting increased by 17.04 per cent and Premchand Guddu of Congress won. In 2008, only 0.53 per cent of voting increased, and the BJP's Manohar Untwal got the benefit and registered victory. In 2013, only 0.45 per cent of votes increased, and the BJP's Jitendra Gehlot won. In 2018, 3.07 per cent more votes were cast, and Congress's Manoj Chawla won by 3.34 per cent. This time the votes have increased by 0.61 per cent, but the presence of Premchand Guddu as an independent candidate made the contest interesting.