Cong closes in on 3-0, Modi concedes
jkupdate.com | 12-Dec-2018 09:05 AM
  • Congress supporters celebrate after initial poll results at the party headquarters in New Delhi.

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday clawed back to remain in political contention nationally as it put spokes in BJP’s seemingly unbeatable election machine by wresting power in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, and staking claim to form the government in Madhya Pradesh.

MP Congress chief Kamal Nath wrote to Governor Anandiben Patel late at night, claiming it has the support of Independent candidates. The Governor asked them to wait till declaration of the final results.

The amplification of electoral successes in the Hindi heartland states for the Congress was lowered in Telangana, where K Chandrasekhar Rao punctured the grand plans of the “Mahakutami” to dethrone the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), while the Mizo National Front knocked off the decade-old Lal Thanhawla regime in Mizoram, the last Congress-ruled state in the North-East.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who led the BJP campaign, said, “We accept the mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve. The BJP governments worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people.

“Victory and defeat are an integral part of life. Today’s results will further our resolve to serve people.”

The resounding defeat handed to the BJP in Chhattisgarh by the Congress notwithstanding,  the saffron party salvaged some pride with  Shivraj Singh Chauhan making a determined push-back in MP and in Rajasthan, the end result was far more respectable for Vasundhara Raje than pollsters predicted. By winning 99 seats, the Congress is just one short of clear majority in the 200-strong  Assembly with voting for one seat countermanded. 

In Chhattisgarh, the Congress was headed for an absolute majority in the 90-member House with Chief Minister Raman Singh conceding defeat just as Raje did in Rajasthan.

Contrary to the experience of the EVMs spewing results at a fast clip, this time the declaration of results was slow. That could partly be attributed to sampling of tally through paper slips, as also close contests in MP, where the margin of vote share was close to 0.1 per cent  between the BJP and Congress.

On his part, Rahul Gandhi, who completed a year as Congress president today, was mellowed in accepting the verdict of defeating the BJP in the  Hindi-speaking states, as also the losses in Telangana and Mizoram.

While interpreting that the electorate spoke against PM Modi for his inability to deliver on promises especially to the youth and farmers of the country, Rahul Gandhi sought to be more accommodative in the hour of triumph.

The Congress chief said the BJP would find it difficult to retain power in 2019, while stating that unlike the BJP leadership, the Congress did not believe in a political philosophy of getting rid of others, an obvious reference to the Modi-Shah promise of a “Congress-mukt” Bharat.

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