Kharge vows to overcome temporary setbacks, prepare fully for national polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested power from the Congress in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh while retaining it in Madhya Pradesh
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday said the party will overcome temporary setbacks and prepare fully for the 2024 national elections along with its allies in the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA).
Khage thanked the people of Telangana for electing the Congress with a majority. “I also thank all those who voted for us in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Our performance in these three states has no doubt been disappointing, but with determination, we reaffirm our strong resolve to rebuild and revive ourselves in these three states,” he said in a post on X as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested power from the Congress in the Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
The BJP retained power in Madhya Pradesh while the Congress managed to win in the southern state of Telangana months before the national polls are due in May. The BJP hopes to retain power at the Centre even as the Congress is set to contest the national polls as part of the 28-party INDIA bloc.
The four states, where the election results were announced on Sunday, send 82 representatives to the Lok Sabha. The results are expected to impact seat-sharing negotiations within the INDIA bloc.
Kharge maintained the Congress undertook a spirited campaign in all four states. “I acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of lakhs of our workers. We will overcome temporary setbacks and prepare ourselves fully for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections along with the INDIA parties.”
In Chhattisgarh, the BJP was leading on 54 of 90 seats while the Congress on 36. The contest was expected to be more evenly poised in the state, where the Congress swept the polls in 2018.
Five exit polls predicted a close fight with the Congress ahead. Three others forecast that chief minister Bhupesh Baghel was comfortably set for a second straight term.
The BJP was leading on 166 of 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh. The Congress was ahead on 63. The BJP has ruled Madhya Pradesh, the largest of the states to go to the polls, for 18 of the last 20 years. It was in a head-to-head battle with the Congress in the state as the Congress hoped to cash in on anti-incumbency to return to power. A majority of exit polls predicted an intense contest between the BJP and the Congress. Two gave the edge to the Congress and one to the BJP. IndiaToday-AxisMyIndia and Today’s Chanakya-News 24 surveys predicted a sweep for the BJP.
In Rajasthan, the BJP was ahead on 115 of 199 constituencies while the Congress on 69 in line with the trend of voting out the incumbent every five years. Chief minister Ashok Gehlot expected to put up a tough battle on the back of welfare and cash transfer schemes. A majority of exit polls predicted that the BJP was coming back to power. But IndiaToday-AxisMyIndia and Today’s Chanakya-News 24 predicted that Congress was marginally ahead.
The Congress was leading on 63 of 119 constituencies in Telangana as it appeared set to wrest power from Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), which was ahead on 40.
In the 2018 elections, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the earlier avatar of BRS, bagged 88 seats while the Congress managed to win only 19 seats. Every exit poll predicted that the Congress, which was in power at the Centre when Telangana was created in 2014, was set to replace the BRS in the only southern state that went to the polls in this round. BRS has ruled the state since its inception. Four exit polls said the Congress would get a simple majority of its own. Others predicted that it would likely emerge as the single-largest party.
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