New Delhi: A confused and over-empathised Hindutva campaigning by the BJP leadership in the three key states in the Hindi heartland failed to defuse the strong anti-incumbency against its sitting chief ministers in Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh or the growing need for a change, especially in Chattisgarh and MP where the saffron party had tried hard to continue for a fourth term.
Congress’s organisational strength this time outranked the BJP’s, which often flaunted its reach till the booth levels, across the country.
While farmers’ distress, unemployment and corruption were common worrying factors for the BJP in the three states, in MP and Chattisgarh, it was arrogance and inaccessible leaders and too much dependency on bureaucrats that added to its woes and its self proclaimed poll plank of development failed to make the desired impact.
Also, a united Congress and its organised campaigning also made a major dent in the BJP’s poll prospects. Seen as the semi-finals ahead of the 2019 electoral battle, the assembly poll results of these three states will force the saffron leadership to restrategise.
Rejecting that anti-incumbency was an issue, Union minister Arun Jaitley said, “I think result was certainly not as expected and it's an opprtunity to pause and analyse, for results were not as per expected. In both Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh we were in power for 15 years and we have done well. I do not think there was anti-incumbency but fatigue factor does come in.”
He added that “issues in state elections are entirely different, we won all these states in December 2003 and lost the general election in 2004. Therefore these results do not reflect automatically. The 2019 elections will be around the performance and leadership of Narendra Modi.”...