NEW DELHI — The BJP swept Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh on Sunday inflicting a resounding defeat on the Congress to tighten its stranglehold in the Hindi heartland, in a big boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and setting the tone for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
In some consolation for the Congress in the face of the saffron wave after it lost Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the party ousted the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) in Telangana to make it 3-1 for the BJP in the latest round of Assembly elections billed as a semi-final before next year’s poll showdown.
As the BJP leadership savoured the triple victory just months after losing its lone southern citadel Karnataka, Prime Minister Modi said some people are already saying that the party’s hat-trick in the states is a guarantee of hat-trick in the Lok Sabha polls.
“The results show popular support for our battle against corruption,” Modi told a crowd of cheering supporters at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, adding that they have served a lesson to the Congress and the opposition’s INDIA bloc that merely collecting some dynasts on a dais may make for a good photograph but cannot win people’s confidence.
“The poll results give out the message that the nation has understood that only Modi ji can provide decisive leadership and empower farmers, poor, deprived classes,” BJP president JP Nadda said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the Assembly results have proved that the days of appeasement and caste politics are over and that ‘new India’ votes on politics of performance.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the party will overcome temporary setbacks and prepare fully for the Lok Sabha polls along with its partners in the INDIA alliance. Congress’ performance in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan assembly polls disappointing, he said.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday accepted the people’s mandate in the states of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and said that the battle of ideology will continue.
He also thanked the people of Telangana for giving the mandate to the party and said that it will fulfill the promise of ‘Prajalu Telangana’.