Hat-trick sealed, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said his government would "work hard" to ensure the formation of a BJP-led government at the Centre in 2014 — under Narendra Modi.
Chouhan stuck to his usual humble tone even after improving on his 2008 tally, cautious that admirers would lose no time in talking of him in the same breath as Modi.
"Our effort will be that when we fight the next Lok Sabha elections under the leadership of Narendra Modi, it should be Madhya Pradesh which contributes the maximum number seats among all states to form a government at the Centre."
He added, "This is the BJP which is getting a big work done by a small worker... Shivraj is an ordinary worker."
The BJP won 164 seats, 21 more than its tally in the last elections. The Congress was reduced to 59 seats, a loss of 12 seats from five years ago. Till late into the night, the result of one seat was yet to be declared. The BJP led there as well.
On the inevitable Chouhan, Modi comparisons, BJP national vice-president Prabhat Jha said, "There is no question of him (Chouhan) being projected as PM candidate now when Narendra Modi’s name has been announced."
The BJP had relied heavily on Chouhan’s leadership, welfare schemes, and pro-poor image to counter anti-incumbency and corruption charges against ministers.
Read: Modi 'not a factor', MP Muslims voted for Chouhan
The CM won from both Vidisha and Budhni, but some of his colleagues were not successful despite the saffron wave. Cabinet ministers Ramkrishna Kusmaria, Anoop Mishra, Laxmikant Sharma, Ajay Vishnoi and Brijendra Pratap Singh suffered defeats.