READ: A national sentiment against Cong; Sonia may have to step in
READ: Cong will name PM candidate at opportune moment, says Sonia Gandhi The results have placed the UPA regime and the Congress leadership in the dock like never before. The outcome has implications for pre-poll alliances it direly needs to contain Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections.
How would a poll tie-up with the UPA help when the Congress-led alliance became a liability in the states it ruled? Gehlot’s predicament in Rajasthan was no different from Sheila’s. Existing cheek-by-jowl with Delhi, his was a 15-year baggage of public anger and distrust. The Congress continued to ail in the desert state, the free medicines and pathological tests it provided to the poor doing little to repair its own health. Doubts if any on this score were dispelled by the margin with which Vasundhara Raje returned to power after the five-year Gehlot interregnum. The ousted CM’s personal popularity was no less than that of his MP counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan. What had him knocked out were the shenanigans of his ministers and party legislators. He failed while an equally understated Chouhan could use his clout among voters to triumph local anti-incumbency.
“How’d I be CM again without MLAs,” reasoned Chouhan while seeking support for party candidates. The strategy worked. The third straight win in MP has placed him on par with Narendra Modi in the BJP hierarchy determined by electoral success. That the saffron party remained tantalisingly short of a clear victory in Delhi was a bit of a setback for Modi. His high-voltage campaign fell short of stopping the AAP juggernaut. He indeed can take credit for Raje’s decisive victory. But Chouhan’s trophy is singly earned.
READ: BJP relied heavily on Chouhan’s leadership, welfare schemeREAD: BJP wrests back Rajasthan, Raje thanks Modi for success
READ: Sheila Dikshit fails to hit a four stares at gloomy future