NEW DELHI: With the 2019 general election, the BJP has managed to shed its tag of being an out-and-out urban party by winning 123 rural seats, bettering its tally of 115 in 2014.
The saffron party has also done well in the semi-rural belt and has enhanced its tally from 127 in 2014 to 141 in 2019. In its traditional stronghold of urban seats, the BJP has slipped marginally to 39 from 40 in 2014.
Analysts say that the BJP moved into rural territories due to their welfare schemes.
“For a rural voter, things like toilets, gas connections and houses are of utmost importance. The BJP, through schemes like Swachh Bharat, Awas Yojana and Ujjwala scheme, has helped it garner support from rural voters. They have successfully blurred the lines between rural and urban India,” a political researcher at the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) said.
In the traditional stronghold of urban areas, the BJP and its allies have done exceedingly well. In Delhi, the BJP won all the seven seats and swept through the six parliamentary constituencies of Mumbai.
In the other two metros of Kolkata and Chennai, where the party had a negligible presence, the BJP won one seat while it drew a blank in Tamil Nadu.
In other cities too, the BJP fared well by winning one of the four seats on offer in Hyderabad, both seats in Ahmedabad and one each in Pune, Chandigarh and Lucknow.