What contributed to Pragya Thakur's win?
The pitch of Pragya Thakur, the BJP candidate for Hindutva seems to have manifested over Digvijaya Singh the former chief minister and Congress candidate from Bhopal.
New Delhi : Thakur while interacting with the media, had said, "I thank the people for reposing trust in me. It will be a victory of dharma over adharma."
In the heartland of Hindi, despite being accused of terror Pragya Thakur had managed to successfully set the narrative of nationalism in order to woo the voters.
Thakur, during the election campaign in Bhopal, Hindutva marked the centre stage. She also accused the Congress of conducting "vote bank politics" by appealing to the members of minority communities and had said that she is fighting to uphold Hindutva.
Digvijaya Singh, in an attempted to maintain a balance between appealing to both Hindu and Muslim voters. In an attempt to dispel Thakur's claim that he was "anti-Hindu", he participated in havana (Hindu religious ceremonies) and visited several temples. None of his efforts seemed to have worked.
The polling happened in highly polarised atmosphere in Bhopal. Despite having 25 percent Muslim population, Singh seems unable to woo the Muslim and other non-Hindu votes.
Having served as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh for 10 years from 1993, Singh has considerable political experience under his belt. However, this also seems to have worked against him. Negative sentiments among government staffers for Singh's policies from his CM days also cost him vital votes.
The sheer lack of numbers also cost Singh. Consider this, roadshows by Digvijaya Singh in minority dominated North Bhopal with seers which was followed by Amit Shah's roadshow in the same area with massive attendance caught many more eyeballs in the city during campaigning.
Among other factors, Modi as a brand sold across social barriers in both rural and urban seat. During campaigning many voters kept claiming they don't support Thakur but they would definitely vote for Modi, irrespective of who was contesting locally.
Poll agencies had predicted a landslide win for the BJP in Madhya Pradesh. The News18-IPSOS Exit Poll has predicted 24-27 seats for the BJP and two-four for the Congress.