PM Modi hails election 'hat-trick' in India
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won a "historic" mandate in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh on Sunday as Congress ousted Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) government in Telangana in the results of four states declared on Sunday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaking about the BJP scoring a hat-trick in next year's Lok Sabha polls on the lines of hat-trick it scored in state polls.
BJP ousted Congress from power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and retained Madhya Pradesh.
The results in Hindi heartland states came as a shocker to Congress and a morale-booster to BJP. Congress leaders expressed happiness over victory in Telangana and said the results in the three states were disappointing and the party will rebuild itself in these areas.
Party chief Mallikarjun Kharge said that the party will overcome "temporary setbacks" and prepare fully for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections along with the INDIA parties.
The election results again showed Congress' vulnerability to take on the BJP in a direct contest. In Telangana, the main adversary of Congress was a regional party.
The BJP improved its performance in Telangana with the party's Katipally Venakata Ramana Reddy emerging as giant-slayer, having defeated outgoing Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) and state Congress chief A Revanth Reddy from the Kamareddy seat. Both KCR and Revanth Reddy contested from two seats.
The biggest BJP victory came from Madhya Pradesh where the party's final tally crossed the two-thirds majority. The BJP has won 160 seats and is leading in three seats in the 230-member house.
The victory is remarkable as BJP has ruled the state for 18 of the past 20 years with Shivraj Singh Chouhan as Chief Minister for most of the period. Chouhan, fondly called "mamaji" by his supporters, helped the BJP beat perceived anti-incumbency with his welfare measures and schemes such as 'Ladli Behna'.
The Congress campaign in the state led by veteran leader and nine-time MP Kamal Nath came a cropper and the party is likely to get 65 seats. The party has won 56 seats and is leading on nine more. Some of the big guns of the Congress, including Jitu Patwari lost the polls. BJP got 48.56 per cent votes and Congress 40.40 per cent. Kamal Nath was chief minister for about 15 months before his government came down in March 2020 with Jyotiraditya Scindia leaving for BJP with his "loyalist MLAs". Scindia delivered for BJP in the election and the party won several seats in the Gwalior-Chambal region.
The Congress gave a good fight in Rajasthan, specially in the last few months, but it was not enough to prevent a BJP victory. The BJP won 115 seats to get a comfortable majority in the 200-member House.
Congress has won 68 seats and is leading on one seat in Rajasthan. The state has not repeated the government for over three decades and did not buck this trend in this election either.
The guarantees given by the Congress and the ambitious Sanjeevni scheme of the Ashok Gehlot government did not prove enough for the ruling party in the state. The BJP ran its campaign under a largely collective leadership and the past acrimony between Gehlot and former state Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot was apparently not forgotten by people.
The BJP trumped Congress in Chhattisgarh and won 53 seats in a 90-member house. The party is leading on one seat. Congress had great expectations of returning to power but Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel's strategy and promises proved inadequate. The party has won 34 seats and leading on one. The Gondvana Gantantra Party (GGP) has won one seat.
The saving grace for Congress was Telangana where the party won an absolute majority for the first time on the back of an aggressive campaign to oust the Bharat Rashtra Samithi government. The BRS had been in power for the past 10 years.
The Congress has crossed the majority mark in Telangana with 64 seats in the 119-member assembly. Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) won 39 seats and BJP 8 seats. AIMIM won seven seats and one seat went to the Communist Party of India.
PM Modi and senior leaders of the BJP boosted the party's campaign with rallies and roadshows across all four states.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a gathering at party headquarters on Sunday evening and spoke about the party scoring a hat-trick in next year's Lok Sabha polls.
He said the mandate in the three states has proved that there is zero tolerance against corruption, appeasement and dynastic politics.
" Voter knows that when India moves ahead then states move ahead. Every family in the country benefits from it. This is why the voter is electing BJP again and again. Some people are even saying that today's hat-trick has guaranteed the hat-trick of 2024," he said.
The BJP got an absolute majority in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The next general elections are likely to be held in April-May next year.
Elections to the four states were held last month. Elections were also held in Mizoram last month and counting of votes will be held tomorrow.