The “Nyay” scheme promised by the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections can be a game changer for the party on 90 of 123 seats in 115 aspirational districts of the country, with a survey predicting that the Congress-led UPA could get more than thrice the seats it won in 2014 and the BJP-led NDA’s numbers could halve from 60 to 31.
The Nyuntam Aay Yojana or Nyay — the minimum income guarantee scheme announced by Congress President Rahul Gandhi — promises that every family among the poorest 20 per cent will get income support of Rs 6,000 a month.
The survey says that the scheme is likely to have a major impact in the aspirational districts, which are underdeveloped in comparison to other districts of the country and need accelerated programmes to achieve development objectives.
The Niti Aayog had come out with a list of aspirational districts last year.
The survey says that of the 90 seats likely to be impacted by the Nyay, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had won 40 in 2009, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) 33 and others 17.
In 2014, the NDA tally was up at 60, the UPA was down to 11 and others were 19.
It predicts that in 2019, the UPA’s tally can go up to 38 seats, NDA’s can drop to 31 and others 21 due to the possible impact of Nyay.
However, if one were to look at the overall results on 123 seats in aspirational districts, the NDA got 49 in 2009 elections with the BJP getting 35, the UPA got 52 (Congress 41) and others bagged 22. The Congress-led UPA had come to power again after 2009 elections.
However, both the NDA and the BJP significantly improved their performance in these districts in 2014. The NDA won 76 seats (BJP 62) and the UPA could win only 17 seats with the Congress getting only 12. Others had won 31 seats.
Bihar has 17 Lok Sabha seats among aspirational districts, Jharkhand 14, Madhya Pradesh 11, West Bengal 11, Uttar Pradesh 9, Odisha 7, Assam 6, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan 5 each, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana 4 each, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Punjab 3 each, Uttarakhand 2, and one each in Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
The survey says that the Nyay is likely to impact all the seats among aspirational districts in Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, UP, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Assam.
The aspirational districts also have a high percentage of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Muslims.
In Bihar, this percentage varies from 27 per cent to 70 per cent, Jharkhand 40 to 75 per cent, Madhya Pradesh 31 to 68 per cent, West Bengal 59 to 80 per cent, Uttar Pradesh 30 to 50 per cent, Odisha 33 to 73 per cent, Assam 47 to 84 per cent, Chhattisgarh 37 to 77 per cent, Maharashtra 30 to 67 per cent and Rajasthan 33 per cent to 42 per cent.