The election outcomes to the 4 states through which Congress misplaced its governments in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and didn’t dislodge the BJP authorities from Madhya Pradesh got here as an enormous disappointment to the social gathering leaders, with the social gathering now out of energy in an unlimited swathe of the Hindi heartland.
The victory in Telangana got here as an enormous solace for the social gathering, because it consolidated its place in southern India for the massive battle within the 2024 Lok Sabha polls which is barely months away.
The loss in three states in addition to its victory in Telangana has a number of classes for Congress, with the social gathering now extra inclined to stress from different events throughout any seat-sharing talks amongst INDIA block members.
The ends in 4 meeting polls have additionally uncovered Congress’ vulnerabilities in a direct contest with BJP. The Congress had wrested Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka from the BJP earlier this yr and hoped to do the identical in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Get together leaders anticipated some difficulties in Rajasthan resulting from inner wranglings previously and the state’s virtually three-decade custom of not voting again the incumbent authorities.
However whereas the social gathering didn’t face a rout in Rajasthan largely resulting from last-minute welfare schemes of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, its much-touted “ensures” couldn’t cease BJP from a historic mandate in Madhya Pradesh.
Points raised by Congress embrace the demand for a caste survey repeatedly raised by social gathering chief Rahul Gandhi didn’t work with the individuals.
Kamal Nath, a septuagenarian and a veteran of electoral battles who has gained 9 Lok Sabha polls, couldn’t energise the voters in Madhya Pradesh. Kamal Nath was the social gathering’s face within the polls and the social gathering chief within the state.
In distinction, Congress appointed a younger A Revanth Reddy as state chief in Telangana in 2021.
After its victory within the Karnataka polls, the Congress made good use of the anti-incumbency sentiment generated by the BJP in opposition to the Okay Chandrashekar Rao authorities and social gathering ran a spirited marketing campaign below management of Revanth Reddy.
BJP has dominated Madhya Pradesh for 18 of the previous 20 years and has now gained the massive state two-thirds majority. Like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh has became a BJP fortress with Congress virtually out of concepts to dislodge its rival.
Union Jyotiraditya Scindia, who left the Congress in March 2020 along with his “loyalist MLAs” to convey down the 15-month-old Kamal Nath authorities has additionally delivered for the BJP.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress relied closely on Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel however BJP went hammer and tongs with its allegations of “corruption” in opposition to the state authorities. The BJP additionally matched the Congress in pre-poll bulletins.
Successful again Chhattisgarh would have allowed Congress to focus on “good governance” mannequin however the social gathering has been unable to win back-to-back meeting polls previously 10 years. The BJP has efficiently retained its governments in a number of states and has repeatedly talked about individuals’s religion in its insurance policies.
With demand for caste census failing to be a attract meeting polls as additionally its ensures, the Congress should reimagine its marketing campaign themes for the 2024 battle.
The BJP matched the Congress’ announcement of ensures within the poll-bound states and Prime Minister Narendra Modi additionally highlighted the schemes of central governments in his rallies equivalent to housing for all.
The Congress now guidelines solely three states by itself within the nation, two of that are within the South. It’s in energy in Himachal Pradesh in northern India. It’s also in energy in Jharkhand and Bihar as a part of ruling alliances within the two states.
The BJP has had a wonderful strike fee within the Hindi heartland states within the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls below PM Modi’s management and the dismal efficiency in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh leaves Congress and not using a highly effective satrap to tackle the BJP.
With INDIA block events scheduled to renew their talks, a weakened Congress may also have lesser bargaining place and events equivalent to Samajwadi Get together, Aam Aadmi Get together, Shiv Sena (UBT), NCP and Trinamool Congress are more likely to press their claims extra strongly if seat-sharing talks are held. Samajwadi Get together and AAP, who’re a part of INIDIA block, had fielded candidates for the meeting polls.
For the opposition’s ambition to tackle the BJP collectively within the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, a lot will rely upon how the resumed talks progress.
The BJP has been swift in course correction after electoral setbacks and exhibits flexibility in its electoral ways.
Not like Karnataka, the place some Lingayat leaders left the social gathering over denial of tickets, the BJP accommodated round 14 leaders of their seventies in ticket distribution.
It gave tickets to Union ministers and senior social gathering leaders in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to ship a message of its severe intent to win the polls.
On seats it was weak, BJP declared candidates fairly early.
The Congress retains a sizeable vote share in most of the states it has misplaced polls over the previous few elections and the social gathering leaders have talked of rebuilding the social gathering.
The newest meeting outcomes have added to the social gathering’s challenges because it prepares for the 2024 battle. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the place the Congress is the fourth drive, collectively account for 120 Lok Sabha seats.
In his response to the outcomes, Congress president Mallikarjun stated the Congress fought a spirited marketing campaign within the 4 states.
“I thank the individuals of Telangana for the mandate we’ve obtained from them. I additionally thank all those that voted for us in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Our efficiency in these three states have little doubt been disappointing, however with dedication, we reaffirm our robust resolve to rebuild and revive ourselves in these three states. I acknowledge and respect the efforts of lakhs of our employees,” he stated in a put up on X.
Rahul Gandhi stated the social gathering accepts the mandate given by individuals of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and the battle of ideology with BJP will proceed.
“I’m very grateful to the individuals of Telangana – we are going to fulfil the promise of constructing Prajalu Telangana. Heartfelt due to all the employees for his or her laborious work and help,” the Wayanad MP posted on X.
Get together chief Jairam Ramesh stated the Congress has bounced again from defeats earlier too.
“Precisely 20 years in the past, the Indian Nationwide Congress had misplaced the state elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, whereas profitable solely Delhi. However inside a number of months, the social gathering bounced again and went on to emerge as the only largest social gathering within the Lok Sabha polls and shaped the federal government on the Centre. It’s with hope, confidence and a agency sense of resolve and resilience that the Indian Nationwide Congress prepares for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. Judega Bharat, Jeetega INDIA!” he posted on X.
In one other put up, he stated the efficiency of the Indian Nationwide Congress in Telangana is a silver lining not only for the social gathering, but in addition for the individuals of the state.
“Telangana turned the twenty ninth state of the Indian Union totally due to the Indian Nationwide Congress, however the aims that led to its creation have gotten misplaced these final (and misplaced) 9 years. A Congress govt, that can very quickly be in place, will give the state a brand new route,” he stated.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)