Moments after his party’s victory in the by-elections, MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on Congress saying people gave it a “befitting reply” for its “vicious campaign”, particularly on demonetisation issue.
Ruling BJP candidates won both Shahdol Lok Sabha and Nepanagar assembly seats.
Terming the victory as “significant”, he said results showed people of the state endorsed the policies of the BJP government and voted for development and were not misled by the falsehood unleashed by the opposition.
He claimed the Congress had resorted to negative campaigns and gimmicks and even distorted statements of BJP candidates in a bid to create a “certain kind of atmosphere” in the state.
BJP candidate and tribal and scheduled caste welfare minister Gyan Singh defeated Congress’s Himadri Singh in the by-elections to Shahdol Lok Sabha seat. In Nepanagar assembly constituency, BJP’s Manju Dadu defeated his Congress rival Antar
Soon after the results were announced, Chouhan along with other party leaders and ministers went to BJP state office here to thank people for reposing faith on the BJP.
The party, however, subdued victory celebration due to the demise of former governor Ram Naresh Yadav. “We have assembled here not for any celebration. Due to the demise of the former governor, we have decided only to garland the portraits of our party veterans like Deendayal Upadhyay,” Chouhan said.
State BJP chief Nandkumar Singh Chauhan said the victory was the best possible reply to the Congress who had tried to mislead the people on the demonetisation issue.
“This victory will encourage us to work harder and it has motivated us further to realise the vision 2018 under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan”, he said.
The Congress, however, tried to put on a brave face drawing solace from its “increased vote share” compared to 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, our candidate lost by 2.16 lakh votes. This time our candidate lost by about 50,000 votes. This shows the sloppy implementation of demonetisation process cost BJP such a large number of votes,” state Congress president Arun Yadav told HT. Yadav also alleged that BJP government used the administrative machinery to its advantage. “I complained to the election commission about this issue. Their (BJP) people used money and liquor to woo voters”, he alleged.
The Aam Aadmi Party said the defeat of the Congress at a time when people were severely hit by the impact of demonetisation manifested how weak it had become in the state.
“These election results show how weak Congress has become in the state now. The BJP has won because people don’t have much option,” AAP leader Akshay Hunka said.