Half of BJP’s additional MPs from SC/ST constituencies
NEW DELHI: BJP has increased its Lok Sabha tally from 282 in 2014 to 303 in 2019 and interestingly nearly half of its additional members (10 of 21) have come from reserved (SC/ST) constituencies, showing its expanded reach among Dalits and tribals.
An analysis of the reserved seats shows that the party has won 77 of 131 such constituencies this time as compared to 67 in 2014. This is significant in view of the dominant narrative about the ruling party’s estrangement from Dalits and tribals. BJP has, in fact, increased its tally in both SC and ST seats while Congress — the second top claimant of reserved constituencies — lost three such seats.
Despite marginally increasing its overall Lok Sabha tally from 44 to 52, Congress saw a dent in reserved constituencies where it got only nine seats this year as compared to 12 in 2014.
Former UP chief minister Mayawati-led BSP, which used to get maximum of the 17 SC seats in the state till pre-2014 polls, could get only two such seats this time. The Dalit-centric party could not open its account in other states where it fielded candidates on reserved seats.
As far as a total of 84 SC seats are concerned, BJP won 46 this time as compared to 40 in 2014 with bulk of them coming from UP (14), West Bengal (5), Karnataka (5), Madhya Pradesh (4) and Rajasthan (4).
Similarly, it increased its tally of ST seats from 27 in 2014 to 31 in 2019. After BJP, Congress got the distant second position.
In some states BJP won all reserved (SC/ST) seats, including MP, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The YSR Congress Party showed similar result in Andhra Pradesh where it won all four SC seats and the lone ST seat.
There are 27 states/UTs where one or more seats are reserved either for SC or ST or for both, depending on their population size.
Though only reserved category of candidates are allowed to contest from these seats, all eligible voters have the right to vote.
SC/ST candidates are, however, eligible to contest from any seat across the country.
As per the last Delimitation Commission (2008), 412 seats are general, 84 seats are reserved for SC and 47 seats for ST.