Modi’s Rallies in Karnataka: Effective or Ineffective?

Karnataka witnessed  one of the keenly contested elections in recent times, where Congress for the first time seemed to offer resistance to BJP. But, by some “Political Pundits”, Modi changed the game for BJP in the final lap. Through this article we try to verify if this claim is true or not?

Modi addressed 21 rallies instead of earlier planned 15. Here is the list of place where he addressed the rallies,

  1. Kolar
  2. Raichur
  3. Bellari
  4. Belagavi
  5. Chamarajnagar
  6. Udupi
  7. Chikmagalur
  8. Bangarapet
  9. Vijayapura
  10. Koppal
  11. Jamakhandi
  12. Gulbarga
  13. Kalaburgi
  14. Hubli
  15. Shivamogga
  16. Tumkur
  17. Mangaluru
  18. Bengaluru
  19. Chitradurga
  20. Gadag
  21. Bagalkot

Predicting the effect of Bengaluru rally is difficult as there are lot many constituencies in a very small region, so we don’t consider it for our analysis. So, remaining places of 20 rallies effectively means 32 assembly constituencies, as there are many seats which are divided into various zones for example Belagavi has three constituencies , Belagavi Dakshin, Belagavi Rural, Belagavi Uttar. We try to analyse these 32 constituencies.

Out of these 32 constituencies, BJP won 18, Congress 12 and JD(S) 2.

The numbers don’t look impressive for Modi even though the strike rate is more than that of BJP overall. The numbers seems unimpressive if one looks at huge rallies addressed by Modi.

However, If we dive deep into the numbers we find some interesting results.

Out of the 32 constituencies that we are looking at, 18 was held by Congress, 2 by JD(S) and 2 by independent in 2013. That Modi addressed rallies in area where BJP had not done well in the past speaks of difficult task he had at hand.

BJP was runners up in 13  of the 14 constituencies it did not win.

Also the average winning margin of BJP was 2500 more than of Congress on these constituencies. Given that over the past 5 elections, on a average there has been 28 constituencies where the winning margin was less than 2000 votes, this numbers are not small.

Also, one more pointer towards Modi effect was that of the constituencies retained by BJP and Congress, the average winning margin of BJP increased by 13700  but for congress it decreased by 2200.

So we can say that there was a certain positive effect of rallies by Modi and in this age of digital Media, the effect got amplified with people listening to his addresses on TV and Internet. Other than that, the rallies  energized the cadres and successfully blunted opposition charges of corruption, undermining public institutions, etc. He also attacked the congress on various issues like rampant lawlessness ,agrarian crisis, women safety ,garbage issue, dynastic politics, etc.

BJP also increased the number of Modi’s rallies from 15 to 21 sensing this positive effect that the rallies had on grounds.

To quote a BJP leader to Hindustan Times on Modi, “He is our only hope. So the party wanted him to spare as much time as he could for campaigning,”.

The Author is a MS Scholar in Aerospace Engineering Department at IIT Madras. He is a Research Legislator at IIT Madras.He is also a Political Enthusiast.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SatyaVijayi