The festive season of elections now seems to have begun in a full swing with the results of crucial assembly elections in the five states namely Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Mizoram on December 11. Congress claimed its victory in three states with a mandate which has set an upstage for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls making a magnificent comeback though the Exit Polls had observed a neck-to-neck race between the BJP and the Congress.
In Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, it was clear long ago that the bacteria of anti-incumbency were beginning to develop resistance to the generic Modi brand of antibiotics. It was clear that the voters had rejected the BJP in what was an indication of things to come in 2019, as trends showed on Tuesday’s vote count that Congress party got a massive victory in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and got a fair victory after a see-saw battle in Madhya Pradesh.
Mumbai Congress Chief Sanjay Nirupam stated, “The country has started accepting Congress Party again and they have started realising the bluffs of the Bharatiya Janata Party and PM Narendra Modi. Narendra Modi is completely exposed. His arrogance is demolished. He has spoken a lot of lies to get some votes from the farmers, the youngsters, and the seniors. People have started realising that Bharatiya Janata Party is not a power who can run the government and who can deliver. So, it is the beginning of the end of the BJP.”
It turned out to be a nail-biting battle in Madhya Pradesh Assembly with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress taking turns to overtake each other as counting of votes was underway in the state. Congress crossed the mark leading in 114 seats and bounced back while BJP got stuck at 109 seats and couldn’t cross the magic number. Congress leader Sachin Pilot had showed the confidence that the party will form government in all the three states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. Other independent parties shared six seats and Mayawati’s party BSP witnessed two seats.
BJP MLA Atul Save called it as anti-incumbency. “Everybody has tried hard. According to me, this will not affect the 2019 elections because this is the state elections, 2019 elections will be in Modi’s name. I don’t think there will be any problem due to the assembly elections.”
The Congress has got the victory with 66 seats in the BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh, leaving the BJP a distant second at 17 though the Chhattisgarh elections have historically been very close contests between the two main protagonists. Chhattisgarh has 90 assembly seats. However, BSP saw a share of four seats. Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh was leading against Congress candidate Karuna Shukla from the Rajnandgaon constituency.
In a conversation with AV, Karuna Shukla shared about the success of Congress party in the state, “Definitely, after an exile of 15 years, Congress is finally forming the government in Chhattisgarh and we all are very happy. Whatever losses that Chhattisgarh has faced in the last 15 years, the Congress will make up for all of that.”
She further added, “We have strengthened the organisation before contesting the election, we organised training camps. We provided the party workers with the voter list around three times, asking them to go to the Constituency and study the situation. The organisation worked really hard.”
On the other hand, BJP state Vice President Sarla Kosariya accepted the situation and backed the party saying, “The BJP actually did a lot of good work. If a change is coming, we should accept it, if the Congress is bringing it, but still people do trust and respect the Bharatiya Janata Party.”
The TRS is all set to form its second successive government in Telangana with a thumping majority after taking an unassailable lead in 87 seats with a ringing endorsement of party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao’s populist policies while Congress managed to get 23 seats and BJP saw a huge downfall with one seat. Of the total 199 seats that went to polls in Rajasthan, Congress secured 99 seats. The BJP managed to get 74 seats. Although the independent parties in the state saw a great number of seats to 20 which showed disgrace towards the national parties.
The opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) is leading in 26 constituencies out of 40 seats followed by the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) in eight seats while the ruling Congress is leading in 6 seats in Mizoram, according to the state election department.
The states that had a strong belt for BJP in the 2013 elections has now received a setback from them and shifted to Congress with a majority difference in the vote count. In Madhya Pradesh, Congress has seen +56 seats while BJP has gone down to 57 while in Rajasthan, Congress remarked a divergence of +77 seats and BJP noted 88 seats negative and Chhattisgarh went to have +27 in Congress’ favour while BJP lowered to -32 seats.
BJP spokesperson Suresh Nakhua commented, “As far Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are concerned, BJP had been in power for last 15 years. A strong anti-incumbency was expected. In MP we gave a neck-to-neck fight which means Shivraj Singh Chauhan is still a popular leader. As far as Rajasthan is concerned, the trend of cyclical government has continued. Not much has been lost on that. We believe that 2019 will see return of a very strong Modi government with stronger Rajya Sabha for the rest of his term which will allow him to move many key programs which he would like to bring in his second term. We congratulate Congress for their hard-earned victory and hope that they will meet people’s expectations and we will play a role of responsible opposition.”
With the assembly election result in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, it raised many doubts whether the win of Congress is a result of an anti-incumbency sentiment! Nonetheless, the nation will have to wait till 2019 to get the answers!
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