New Delhi: Based on its impressive performance in rural Gujarat, the Congress has decided to tap on “farmers’ issues” in the upcoming Assembly polls next year, specially in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh.
However, the experts are divided over whether it is actually agrarian distress or caste-based politics that has paid dividends for the party in Gujarat.
An analysis of data post elections shows that there has been no perceptible increase in the vote share of the grand old party in rural areas, however, it has gained in the number of seats it won.
“The total vote percentage of Congress went up by 2.2 per cent across the state both in urban and rural areas and the BJP’s by one percent,” Sanjay Kumar, Director of the Centre for Developing Societies said.
Mr Kumar said that the Congress’ good showing in rural Gujarat could be attributed to the vote distribution across constituencies and also to the fact that Patidars who have somewhat shifted to the grand old party in these coming polls are more thickly concentrated in rural Gujarat than in urban areas.
However, a senior Congress leader who did not wish to be named said that the party has benefited from rural distress and would make it an issue in coming elections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan as well.
Rajasthan has already witnessed a hugely successful farmers’ agitation that resulted in a loan waiver scheme. In Madhya Pradesh too a huge farmers agitation had left the Shivraj Singh Chauhan government red faced. A hue of Opposition leaders, including Congress President Rahul Gandhi, had descended on Mandsaur in MP where six people had been killed while agitating.