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BJP won three of the four states, Congress won one

Despite ruling for a solid 10 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s magic, as evidenced by the election results in three states of North India—Goa, Gujarat, and Rajasthan—still creates a mystical aura. BJP has managed to outperform Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, alongside maintaining power in Madhya Pradesh. Congress, on the other hand, has made inroads into the southern state of Telangana, a significant achievement that they proudly presented to the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS).

Before next year’s Lok Sabha elections, the election results indicate a clear advantage for the ruling BJP. On Monday, the electoral counting will take place in the northeastern state of Mizoram.

With the announcement of the election results, the opposition coalition ‘India’ has called for a meeting to discuss its strategy. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has initiated discussions with various leaders of the coalition to attend the meeting scheduled for December 6 in Delhi.

Starting from the morning of the vote count yesterday, BJP maintained its lead in Madhya Pradesh and was ahead in Rajasthan as well. Chhattisgarh was the wildcard where BJP wasn’t so certain. The exit polls and feedback from the polling booths had indicated Congress making a comeback in Chhattisgarh. The state had been under Congress rule for the last 18 years, with a brief interruption from 2018 to 2020 when Shivraj Singh Chouhan of the BJP held the position of Chief Minister.

As per yesterday’s final vote count, out of 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh, BJP secured 163, and Congress got 66. In Rajasthan, out of 200 seats (voting was held in 199), BJP won 115, and Congress secured 70. In Chhattisgarh, where there are 90 seats in the Legislative Assembly, the last time Congress won 68 seats, but this time they managed to win only 35, while BJP secured 54 seats.

Congress has managed to make a mark only in Telangana, where it has been out of power for 10 years under the rule of the Bharatiya Rashtra Samiti (previously Telangana Rashtra Samiti). Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao has been in power since the formation of the state, and this is the first time Congress has managed to dislodge him. They won 65 seats, while the BRS won 39. Surprisingly, BJP’s performance in the state is noteworthy. They had won only one seat in the previous assembly elections but secured eight this time. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) won seven seats in the Hyderabad region.

The election results show that despite being in power for 10 years, Modi’s magic remains unbroken. The BJP’s campaign in each state was centered around Modi. In the face of the BJP’s challenge, Congress had initiated the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ (Connect India Journey). While successful in South India, it couldn’t leave a mark in North India. The results of this election confirm that. Now, the Congress leadership, especially Rahul Gandhi, will have to reconsider their ‘Connect India Journey’ from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat. The election results indicate that Modi’s BJP is unbeatable without the combined strength of the opposition. For Congress, this is not only a challenge against the BJP but also against the united opposition.

The Congress leadership will undoubtedly reflect on this result. It is now clear that Congress, whether in the Hindi heartland or in Goa and Gujarat, failed to maintain its influence. Despite hoping for a good performance in these states to gain a favorable position for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with the ‘India’ coalition, the reality has proven otherwise. The political clash between Congress and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav in Rajasthan during the distribution of seats has been evident.

Congress thought that if it could perform well in these states, it might negotiate a comfortable position within the India coalition for the Lok Sabha elections. However, now there seems to be no way for them to be significant beyond their current status.

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