The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday described the impending defeat of the Congress in Punjab and Uttarakhand as the "beginning of the end" for the Congress-led government ruling India.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the outcome of the assembly elections must be linked to voter concern over rising prices of essential commodities and economic reforms.
"The ruling alliance is tottering in Delhi and even the Left parties are embarrassed by its economic policies. While the BJP is putting its house in order, it is beginning of the end for the Congress," said a visibly happy Jaitley.
"Clearly, the spiraling cost of food items and how it has affected the lives of the common people are the clear signal from these elections," said Jaitley, who was projected as the architect of the BJP-Akali Dal victory in Punjab.
He also pointed out that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's developmental campaign had found no takers in the election.
"If you think development is confined to giving concessions to a few industrialists, then he (Singh) is obviously mistaken. It has not gone down well with the farmers in the state," said Jaitley.
While conceding that rising prices of essential commodities could have had an impact in both Punjab and Uttarakhand, Congress leader and Tourism Minister Ambica Soni Singh said the results would not hit the ruling coalition.
"We will sit back and analyse the results, but let us not rush to any hasty conclusions," Soni told a news channel.