The fate of Congress chief ministers hang in balance in view of the party’s worst ever electoral drubbing in more than six decades. Many general secretaries and state unit chiefs are also in the line of fire for the poor show in their respective states.
The chief ministers had been sounded before the Lok Sabha elections only that their continuation largely depended on the party’s performance in their states.
Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi had already offered his resignation from the post. He had promised a minimum of six seats but the Congress managed to get just three.
Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat and his Himachal Pradesh counterpart Virbhadra Singh even failed to ensure the victories of their spouses.
Rawat’s wife Renuka lost from Hardwar to former BJP chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, while Virbhadra’s wife Pratibha was defeated by BJP’s first-timer Ram Swaroop Sharma from Mandi.
The defeats have given fresh ammunition to the disgruntled elements in both Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress failed to open its account.
State leaders have already started raising questions about the leadership of the two chief ministers.
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, too, faces the heat as his party faced rout, winning just one of the total 10 seats.
His detractors are claiming that Hooda’s “only concern” for the party was to ensure his son Deepender Singh Hooda’s victory from Rohtak.
In Karnataka, the Congress failed to match its performance in last year’s assembly elections when it had won 122 out of the total 224 seats.
Chief minister Siddaramaiah had repeatedly given the assurances that the Congress will win at least 20 seats from his state, but the party ended up bagging just nine.
Having been decimated in assembly polls, a resurgent BJP registered an impressive performance, winning 17 of the total 28 seats.
Considered an outsider in the Congress, Siddaramaiah’s detractors too have upped the ante against him, seeking his replacement by a party loyalist.
Riding a “Modi wave” and capitalising on the 15 years of anti-incumbency, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance dealt a big blow to the ruling Congress-NCP combine in Maharashtra, winning 42 of the 48 seats.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has already accepted the responsibility for his party’s dismal show.
While the Congress won just two of the 27 seats it contested, the NCP did marginally better by bagging four seats. Both Maharashtra and Haryana face assembly elections in October.