When the initial counting trends came from Jhabua-Ratlam Lok Sabha seat on Tuesday morning, the Congress workers were not on the streets immediately to celebrate.
The crowd gathered at the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office only once it became clear that Kantilal Bhuria had established a sizeable lead over the rival candidate, and it was then the celebrations began.
Soon, Congress leaders were flashing million watt smiles, distributing sweets and hugging each other, with fireworks planned for the evening.
Perhaps the initial caution was because it was a good news for the party after a long time and took time to sink in.
Not just successive defeats in Assembly elections from 2004, the party had also performed miserably in the Lok Sabha polls in 2014 when it got just two seats out of 29 compared to BJP’s 27. Further, its performance in Assembly by-polls was also far from satisfactory.
The Agar, Vijayraghogarh seats bypolls were won by BJP and Congress had won just the Bahoriband seat last year. Further, Congress had also lost Garoth bypoll.
In addition, the party (Congress) was routed in municipal polls across the State. No wonder, the victory on the seat bordering Gujarat has given Congress the much-needed Oxygen when it appeared comatose in the State.
“Of late, we were more content with victories in other states. This is a sweet victory as it has come after a long time”, said a PCC functionary. “In fact, it is a positive sign for democracy and the trend that began from Delhi and Bihar, is now going further, reviving Congress”, he added.
People have rejected Shivraj govt: Ajay
Former leader of opposition and senior Congress leader Ajay Singh said that despite using official machinery and pumping huge funds, BJP failed to win the poll. “People have rejected Shivraj government”, he said.
Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said that this was Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s personal defeat.
“In rallies, he would tell people that you are not voting for just the Member of Parliament but also him (Chouhan), still, voters rejected the BJP. This also clearly illustrates that the BJP’s so-called development claims have been exposed and people have seen that the promises were false”, Chaturvedi further said.
“Not only the party workers would be galvanised, in my view, this result would prove to be a turning point in MP’s politics and eventually pave way for Congress’ revival”, Chaturvedi added.
Why Congress victory is important?
Congress has lost last three successive Assembly polls in MP
Congress had won just two out of 29 seats in last Lok Sabha poll
Party’s leaders had been defecting to BJP
Congress also lost municipal polls late last year and early this year