Decoding Rajasthan's Political Landscape: Insights from the 2023 Assembly Elections

The internal challenges within Congress and the strategic shift in the BJP's approach likely played a pivotal role in shaping the electoral landscape and results.

Times Now Survey -ETG Research

By Madan Mohan Jha, Political Analyst- ETG Research: In the recent Rajasthan assembly elections, I dedicated several months to studying the state's political landscape. While Rajasthan can be geographically segmented into nine regions, our focus was on five distinct political divisions: Marwar, Mewar, Hadoti, Shekhawati, and Dhundhur. This strategic political breakdown helped comprehend the nuanced political dynamics across the state, despite the geographical expanse.
In the lead-up to the Rajasthan assembly elections, despite the challenges of extensive responsibilities, a concerted effort was made to grasp the political pulse of the state. Collaborating with field associates, information from 200 assemblies was gathered, providing valuable insights into Rajasthan's political landscape. Personal visits to key constituencies, including Lalsot, Dausa, Todabhim Dholpur, Rajkheda,
Kota North, Kota South, Malviya Nagar, Adarsh Nagar, Civil Lines, Kishan Pole, Churu, Baran, Barmer, Sheo, Gudamalani, Dungarpur, Chaurasi, Udaipur, and Udaipur rural, offered direct interactions with locals, enriching the understanding of local sentiments and political nuances.
These immersive experiences allowed for a more comprehensive grasp of emerging political trends. The subsequent team discussions, scrutinising each electoral seat meticulously, brought clarity to the evolving scenario. The survey conducted by ETG Research remarkably mirrored the anticipated outcomes, accurately predicting both the seat distribution and the percentage of votes secured by
political parties in Rajasthan. This validation affirmed the reliability of our assessments and the
depth of understanding garnered through extensive fieldwork and collaborative analysis. In the Dhundhar region, comprising 58 seats, the influential Meena and Gujar castes hold sway in Eastern Rajasthan. Meena caste voters, traditionally inclined towards the Congress, showcased discontent with the incumbent Congress MLAs, possibly leading to a divided vote within the caste. Conversely, Gujar voters, who had previously supported Congress due to Sachin Pilot, felt disillusioned when Ashok Gehlot assumed chief ministership, openly discussing a shift towards BJP.
Mewar emerged as a BJP stronghold, with the party effectively countering smaller opposition parties. This dominance allowed the BJP to secure the majority of seats, resulting in the defeat of senior Congress leader CP Joshi, a Mewar native. In the Hadoti region, Congress faced significant weakness, managing victories in only 5 out of 17 seats, while BJP claimed 12 seats.
Marwar witnessed turmoil in Barmer due to BJP rebels contesting as independents, while the
RLP showcased strength in Baytu. Despite this, Congress retained some crucial seats. Conversely, Congress exhibited strength in the Shekhawati region, considered a stronghold for the party. Notably, senior BJP leader Rajendra Rathore faced defeat after contesting from Taranagar, shifting from Churu, which falls within the Shekhawati region.
Certainly! It appears that the recent assembly elections were marked by a nuanced political
landscape, notably in the Congress and BJP strategies and dynamics. Congress, led by Ashok Gehlot, faced a multifaceted challenge. Gehlot's leadership was seemingly contested not only by rival parties like BJP but also from within his own party, notably by Sachin Pilot. This internal rift might have affected the party's focus and unity during the election campaign. Ticket distribution, a crucial aspect in elections, seemed to be a point of contention, with some perceiving Gehlot's approach as cautious or even insecure. Despite anti-incumbency sentiments against certain MLAs, the decision to retain them as
candidates was surprising and potentially detrimental to Congress' electoral prospects.
Meanwhile, the BJP's strategy appeared different this time. Instead of relying on a strong local leadership, the party emphasised the face of the Prime Minister as its focal point during the campaign. This deviation from their usual approach might have contributed to a lack of connection or resonance with the local electorate. The absence of a prominent local leader could have potentially cost them support and affected their electoral performance.
The overall impact of these dynamics could be seen in the election results, possibly leading to an outcome that differed from expectations. The internal challenges within Congress and the strategic shift in the BJP's approach likely played a pivotal role in shaping the electoral landscape and results. These observations underscore the significance of internal party dynamics, leadership strategies, and local connect in shaping the outcomes of electoral contests.
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