In an election in which the Congress registered its lowest-ever tally with a number of party stalwarts and Union ministers suffering heavy defeats, there were a few Congressmen who managed to buck the trend and preserve some dignity for India’s grand old party.
Madhya Pradesh saw two top Congress leaders manage to hang on to their seats. In Guna, Union power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia beat BJP’s Jaibhansingh Pawaiya by a comfortable margin of 1.20 lakh votes. Scindia’s focus on his constituency – he visited Guna at least five days every month with the ‘gift’ of development – appears to have paid rich dividends.
Elsewhere in the state, Union urban development minister Kamal Nath retained Chhindwara by a similar margin.
In Punjab’s capital Amritsar, former chief minister Amarinder Singh put a dent on an otherwise remarkable day for the BJP, beating outgoing leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley by over a lakh votes.
Union minister of state Shashi Tharoor suffered a scare in Thiruvananthapuram before managing to retain the seat. He scraped through by a mere 15,000 votes against O Rajagopal of the BJP, a far cry from his 2009 winning margin of over a lakh votes.
In Maharashtra, former chief minister Ashok Chavan won the Nanded seat, defeating Bharatiya Janata Party’s DB Patil comfortably. Chavan head a lead of over around 90,000 votes.