New Delhi, December 3 The tidings of a saffron storm emanated from the Hindi heartland on Sunday with the BJP decimating the Congress in the Assembly elections held in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, just six months ahead of the general elections in 2024. Losing out in the straight contest with the BJP, the Congress only managed to trounce the provincial Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in Telangana.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Assembly election results are a reflection of the BJP’s victory in 2024 general elections. “Today’s hat-trick has given a guarantee of another hat-trick in 2024,” Modi said, speaking at a felicitation programme at the BJP headquarters in the evening.
While the BJP won all the three States and it has Chief Minister contenders in the incumbent Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh, Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan and Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh, party insiders said the decision for the top job will be taken by the central leadership.
In Chhattisgarh where the BJP had won 34 seats and was ahead in 24, taking its lead to 54 seats of the total 90 in Chhattisgarh with a vote share of 46.28 per cent till late evening, the focus had shifted to former CM Raman Singh although some other contenders’ names were doing the rounds. While the votes were still being counted in the State, the Congress had won 17 seats and was ahead in 18, taking its total to 35.
In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP had won 116 seats and was ahead in 48, taking its total to 164 seats while the votes were still being counted. The party’s vote share was 48.59 per cent. Congress had won 35 seats and was ahead in 30 seats with a vote share of 40.44 per cent. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be the only leader in the Hindi heartland to lead the State for a fifth term.
Rajasthan kept up its tradition of voting out the incumbent. Till late evening count, the BJP had won 114 seats and was leading in one more seats, taking the total to 115 seats of the 199 seats. The BJP had a vote share of 41.69 per cent. The Congress had won 67 seats and was ahead in two more seats, taking the total to 69 seats with a vote share of 39.53 per cent. Vasundhara Raje has not been projected as CM in the State, but BJP sources said her claim would be hard to overlook given that she has a bulk of MLAs’ support, and the party would like to ensure its sweep of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the State in the general elections.
In the 119-member Telangana Assembly, Congress had won 56 seats and was ahead in eight more seats, taking the total to 64 seats with a vote share of 39.40 per cent. The ruling BRS had won 32 seats and was ahead in seven more seats, taking total number to 39 seats with a vote share of 37.38 per cent.