The BJP’s dominance was never in question. What is surprising, however, is the new low the Congress sunk to on Wednesday as the party took yet another battering in the election arena in Madhya Pradesh.
As the civic body results drove the BJP to a new high, analysts gave credit for the ruling party’s stupendous show to the popularity of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, into his third term.
“Though local body elections do not have (any) national importance, the one-sided victory of the BJP in MP in the urban elections would further consolidate the CM’s position. The party’s dependence on Shivraj Singh Chouhan is complete,” said political analyst Girija Shankar.
Chouhan’s contribution to the party’s success is especially noteworthy in the context of reverses suffered by other BJP chief ministers in local body elections in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
After leading the party to its third straight term in the 2013 assembly polls, Chouhan ensured a near-perfect decimation of the Congress in last year’s Lok Sabha polls, winning 27 seats out of 29.
Shankar, however, did not foresee see any major changes in the Congress in the days to come.
“The Congress doesn’t contest elections as a party but candidates contest individually,” he said, adding that the grand old party seemed to be waiting for the BJP to commit mistakes to propel them to power “rather than work towards it.”
Another poll-watcher felt that the Congress’ decimation was not a good sign for democracy.
“Unfortnately, the Congress has been reduced to some names and their groups, there is no organisation to back up the party in elections. It allows the BJP to make up for initial setbacks, be it in terms of wrong selection of candidates or anti-incumbency,” said Vijay Dutt Shridhar, founder of the Madhavrao Sapre Museum of Newspapers.