The lowest margin recorded in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was in the contest between a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and a Bahujan Samaj Party candidate in Uttar Pradesh’s Machhlishahr seat.
The votes were counted on Thursday, and the BJP won 303 seats of the country’s 542 that went to the polls. The BJP finished with a vote share of more than 50% in as many as 11 states and two Union territories. The party had its highest vote share, 69.1%, in Himachal Pradesh. BJP alone had a vote share of 62.2% in Gujarat, 58.5% in Rajasthan, 58% in Madhya Pradesh, 51% in Jharkhand and 50.7% in Chhattisgarh.
As per Election Commission data, BJP candidate Bholanath won the Machhlishahr seat by a margin of 181 votes, defeating BSP’s Tribhuvan Ram. In 2014, BJP candidate Ram Charitra Nishad had won the seat with a margin of more than 1.72 lakh votes.
There were several other tight races. Nationalist Congress Party candidate Mohammed Faizal beat Congress’ Hamdullah Sayeed in Lakshadweep by 823 votes. Congress candidate Kuldeep Rai Sharma defeated his rival BJP’s Vishal Jolly by just 1,407 votes in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Lok Sabha seat.
In Khunti Lok Sabha seat of Jharkhand, the margin of votes between the winning candidate from the BJP and the trailing Congress candidate was 1,445 votes. In Jahanabad, the Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate Surendra Prasad Yadav lost to Janata Dal (United) candidate Chandeshwar Prasad by merely 1,751 votes. In Chamarajnagar, the Congress lost to BJP’s Srinivas Prasad by 1,817 votes. In Arambagh, TMC Aparupa Poddar won against the BJP by 1,142 votes.
The highest margin of votes was also recorded by a BJP candidate, in Gujarat’s Navsari. CR Patil defeated his Congress rival by a difference of 6,89,668 votes, surpassing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory margin of 4,79,505 votes against Samajwadi Party’s Shalini Yadav in Varanasi. In the 2014 General Elections, Modi had won from Vadodara seat with the highest margin.
CR Patil’s victory margin is the second highest in the history of elections in independent India. In 2014, BJP MP Pritam Munde set a record with a margin of 6.96 lakh votes during the bye-election to the Beed Lok Sabha seat in Maharashtra. The bye-election was necessitated after the death of her father and former Union minister Gopinath Munde.
All the top candidates who scored high margins were from the BJP. Krishna Pal in Faridabad, Haryana, Sanjay Bhatia in Karnal, Haryana, and Subhash Chandra Baheria in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, also won their seats by more than 6 lakh votes. BJP National President Amit Shah, who contested elections for the first time from the Gandhinagar seat in Gujarat, also secured a high margin of over 5.57 lakh votes, while the BJP candidate in Vadodara, Ranjanben Bhatt, beat her rival from the Congress by a margin of 5.89 lakh votes.