New Delhi, Apr 10: Narendra Modi may have dislike for the 'dynastic' Nehru-Gandhi family or vice versa; but there is at least one common feature between the incumbent Prime Minister and one of his illustrious predecessors Late Rajiv Gandhi.
Interestingly, both the names figure among the record holders of highest margins of votes in their moment of electoral glories. Rajiv Gandhi attained the highest margin of victory in 1984 when he sailed home from Amethi in the polls held shortly after the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi. Late Rajiv Gandhi was already the Prime Minister in office.
Rajiv Gandhi had earlier won from Amethi in 1981 by-election after the death of his brother Sanjay. Interestingly, Rajiv's nearest rival in 1981 was Sharad Yadav of Lok Dal. In 1984, Rajiv Gandhi's election came during the height of bitterness in the family and his nearest rival was sister-in-law Maneka Gandhi.
While Rajiv Gandhi polled 83.67 per cent of votes - 3,65,041, Ms Maneka Gandhi contesting as Independent had polled 50,163 votes making it 11.50 per cent of vote share. Interestingly, LJP chief from Ram Vilas Paswan also shares the honour along with Mr Modi and Late Rajiv Gandhi. For Mr Paswan, the highest victory margin honours came twice -- making a record by itself. In 1977, Mr Paswan's victory margin from Hajipur was 4,24,545 votes and this shot up to 5,04,448 in 1989 from the same constituency in Bihar.
Mr Paswan had won the polls in 1977 - post Emergency - on Bharatiya Lok Dal ticket while in 1989, his victory came as a Janata Dal nominee riding the perceived pro-V P Singh and anti-Bofors controversy mood in the cow belt.
For Prime Minister Modi, the record victory came from Vadodara in his home state in 2014 when the difference between him and the nearest rival was 5,70,128 votes. In the case of Late Rajiv Gandhi, the victory margin in 1984 was 3,14,878. Mr Modi's victory margin in Varanasi in 2014 polls against Arvind Kejriwal of AAP was 3,71,884 votes. Among the states interestingly, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Nagaland had the highest victory margins twice each since 1962 and 2014.
In Gujarat, besides Mr Modi, the EC data shows BJP candidate Dr Kathriya Vallabhbhai Ramjibhai attained the success from Rajkot in 1998 and his victory margin was 3,54,187 votes. In 1962, Gayatri Devi of Swatantra Party won the Jaipur seat by a margin of 1,57,692 votes - highest of the year, data from the Election Commission shows. In 1967, another Rajasthan leader and in fact an Independent achieved the feat when he won the Bikaner seat by a margin of 1,93,816 votes.
In the case of Nagaland, K Asungba Sangtam of Congress attained the highest victory margins in 1999 polls despite the pro-Kargil conflict mood in the rest of India in favour of BJP and regional forces.
In 2009, Nagaland People's Front nominee C M Chang had the honour of emerging as a winner with highest margins of victory. In this case also, while the rest of India overwhelmingly voted in favour of the Congress, in the wilds of north east, the electorate in Nagaland chose to prefer the candidate of a regional party which has been a constituent of the BJP-led NDA.
In another north eastern state, Tripura - the then Union Minister of State for Home Santosh Mohan Dev attained the record of highest victory margins in 1991 when he won from Tripura West parliamentary constituency. Perhaps, it could be needless to get into the guessing game - Late Dev's and Congress party's bitter rivals CPI-M then had alleged that the polls in Tripura were 'rigged' with overwhelming presence of central forces.
Santosh Mohan Dev, who otherwise has been a prominent Congress leader from Silchar in neighbouring state of Assam, had managed a victory margin of 4,28,984 votes, the data shows. However, it goes to the credit of CPI-M that its candidate and senior leader Anil Basu had recorded highest victory margins from the Arambagh parliamentary constituency in West Bengal in 2004. The victory margin was 5,92,502 votes. This is by far the highest victory margin in Lok Sabha polls from 1962 to 2014.
In 2004, the EC data shows the lowest victory margin was 36 and the winner was BJP candidate Thupstan Chhewang from Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. In terms of records, the lowest victory margin since 1962 has been only 9. The difference in votes figure was first recorded in 1989 when the victorious candidate was Congress leader Konathala Ramakrishna from Anakapalli constituency in Andhra Pradesh.
The lowest margin of 9 was again repeated in 1998 when BJP candidate Som Marandi managed to emerge winner from Rajmahal Lok Sabha seal in Bihar. UNI