ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Moving towards Single-party Dominance in Rajasthan

The recent sweep by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha elections from Rajasthan is located in the wider context of the electoral politics of the state. A party that was voted out of power six months ago is given a clear mandate in the national elections and this interesting trend is the focus of this analysis. Drawing data from the National Election Study survey, the factors and forces that contributed to
the Lok Sabha election results in the state are examined.

Since the last decade of the 20th century, the nature of political competition in Rajasthan has been a two-party system with the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) being the principal contestants. However, if one studies the outcome of all the elections held so far in the 21st century, a different picture emerges. In all the four state assembly elections held since 2003, out of the 800 seats (Rajasthan has 200 elected members), the BJP has won as many as 434 (54.25%), the INC has secured 273 (34%) and the remaining 93 seats have been pocketed by a host of other political parties. While this gap of 20% between the BJP and the INC is considerable, the picture changes once we move from the state assembly aggregates to the Lok Sabha elections (Table 1). In the four Lok Sabha elections held from 2004 up to 2019, the gap is a massive 51% with the BJP securing 75 out of the 100 seats and the INC left with just 24. In all these elections put together, the BJP has secured nearly 45% of the votes polled and the Congress has got just a little over 37% (Table 1). This article, therefore, argues that like Gujarat, though INC and the BJP continue to be the two main political parties in Rajasthan, the system is moving towards the domination of one party, that is, the BJP.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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