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BJP hands crushing defeat to Congress in MP

IANS  |  Bhopal 

The humiliation is complete. joined the other heartland states in bowing to Modi brand of "nationalism" by handing all but one of the 29 seats to BJP. Barring that returned the sole candidate Nakul Nath, the BJP swept all including the Guna seat.

The had won two seats of and Guna in 2014. In the next year's by-election Congress wrested back Ratlam-Jhabua seat to take the tally to three.

It will be the first time that will be without a member from the Scindia family from erstwhile Gwalior state. Even more humiliating for the Scindias is the defeat of a scion at the hands of former humble of the Congress and old fan of Jyotiraditya Scindia, Krishnapal Yadav.

Scindia was projected a popular choice as a ministerial candidate in the run-up to the assembly elections last year. He failed to vindicate that tag. the former union who had won a by-election in 2015 raise the Congress tally to 3 out 29 seems to have lost hold on the constituency. This would be Bhuria's second defeat of the career.

who retained the PCC chief's post even after becoming the is now being accused of focusing on personal interest. now makes a debut in the assembly. But the BJP is already baying for his blood. The who just retained his Jabalpur seat has already demanded Kamal Nath's resignation on moral grounds.

There are murmurs within the Congress too on why was allowed to retain two posts. But given the frictions in the Congress, it would be hard to believe the results would be any different particularly after the Modi undercurrent swept all states.

had remained loyal to the even during the earlier sweep that was witnessed 42 years ago. In the elections held in 1977 to mark the end of the Emergency, the undivided had returned 39 Bharatiya (BJS) candidates while Congress had to be content with only Chhindwara. The winner for the Congress in that poll was Gargi

After the carving out of Chhattisgarh, which got 11 of the 40 seats from the mother-state, the sole seat going to Congress out of 29 is Chhindwara. With an improved performance over 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has tossed up quite a few questions about the Congress' strategy and its execution in Madhya Pradesh. Nakul, son of Madhya Pradesh Kamal Nath has defeated his BJP rival in Chhindwara.

The Congress owes its supporters an explanation for frittering away in less than six months the advantage of returning to power after 15 years. Kamal Nath showed a lot of restraint to turn an unruly organisation into a fighting unit. But he has apparently fallen short of expectations in an election that was fought on emotive issues rather than political logic and public issues. The current election will be remembered for polarisation, acrimony and unprecedented tension.

The complete failure of and to make an impact in the state may have surprised even the BJP supporters. had made seven trips to the state and Priyanka one over the past two months.

The Congress had many chinks in its armour. It was said the Congress had won the assembly elections in spite of itself because factionalism was rampant when it squared up against a considerably weakened BJP -- thanks to Shivraj Singh's inept third stint.

Now the even the ruling party members privately concede the Congress markedly benefited from the BJP's incumbency. Many faces of the BJP had put off the voter. The strategy to replace most of the old hands, including some sitting MPs, seems to have worked wonders for the BJP. But many pollsters say the candidates of the party did not matter this time around. It was just brand Modi that counted.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 00:20 IST
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