Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday expressed disappointment over the BJP’s poor performance in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. “I think the result was certainly not as expected and it is an opportunity to pause and analyse, for results were not as per expected. In both Chhattisgarh and MP, we were in power for 15 years and we have done well. I don’t think there was anti-incumbency but the fatigue factor does come in,” he told news agency ANI.
However, the senior BJP leader immediately dispelled fears that the results of the state assembly polls would have an adverse effect on the Lok Sabha elections next year. “The issues in the state elections are entirely different, we won all these states in 2003 and lost the general elections in 2004. Therefore, these results don’t reflect automatically. The 2019 elections will be based on the performance of the central government and the leadership of PM Modi,” he said.
“The election issue really will be, do we need a tried and tested leadership and government in place or do we want some kind of an unstable non-ideological coalition which is bound to splinter away sooner than later,” he asked.
While counting is still underway in both the states, in Chhattisgarh, as per figures by the Election Commission at 9.30 pm, Congress has won 23 seats while BJP is trailing with four seats. The state, which has been home to the BJP for the past 15years, has a total of 90 seats. Taking responsibility for the party’s defeat, Chief Minister Raman Singh tendered his resignation in the evening.
In Madhya Pradesh, the two parties are facing a close contest with the BJP winning 50 seats and Congress securing 52 seats, as per figures by the poll panel at 9.30 pm. There are 230 seats in the Assembly. Incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is battling anti-incumbency in the state, which has also been under BJP governance for 15 years. The Congress, which has not projected a chief ministerial candidate, is hoping to end its electoral drought in the state.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, on the other hand, handed over her resignation to Governor Kalyan Singh in Jaipur. Trends show a majority for the Congress in Rajasthan which has so far won 84 seats while the BJP has secured 71 seats.
The saffron party was defeated to the Mizo National Party in Mizoram and the TRS in Telangana.