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Rajasthan bypolls: More than gloom, disbelief in BJP over triple loss

There was no prominent BJP face in the office till noon but state party president Ashok Parnami was expected to address the media after declaration of the final results

jaipur Updated: Feb 01, 2018 17:04 IST
Manoj Ahuja
Manoj Ahuja
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajsthan bypolls,Ajmer bypolls,Alwar bypolls
BJP head office in Jaipur wore a deserted look Thursday as Congress swept the bypolls to two Lok Sabha and one assembly seats in Rajasthan. (Himanshu Vyas/HT Photo)

The mood at Rajasthan BJP headquarters in Jaipur was more of disbelief than gloom on Thursday morning as early trends showed the Congress ahead in both the Lok Sabha seats of Alwar and Ajmer.

“Wait for the final results, there are many rounds to go,” said a member of state media cell as he called out to someone for tea. The only solace early in morning was that the BJP candidate from Mandalgarh Assembly Shakti Singh Hada was leading. However, at few minutes past 11 am, that mood turned sombre as the Congress candidate in Mandalgarh led by a slender margin and the party also extended gains in Alwar and Ajmer seats.

“Log naraz hain, kisan naraz hain, Rajput naraz hain” (People are unhappy, farmers are unhappy, Rajputs are unhappy (with the performance of government),” said a BJP leader who did not wish to be named. The Rajput community, which is upset with BJP, had declared support for Congress.

Others were wistful. “If only Modiji had campaigned in this elections, we would have won,” another leader said. A third joked, “If only Rahul Gandhi had campaigned, we would have won,” amid laughter as the mood lightened for a few moments only to turn gloomy again as the TV anchor read out the latest figures.

“This loss is a good. It’s a wake-up call for the party. Now we will win the Assembly elections,” another BJP member said.

Outside the office, a farmer Kher Singh, who is a member of BJP was more blunt. “I am not surprised. Farmers are angry with the government. We don’t get electricity for more than four-five hours and the wheat crop is drying up (due to lack of irrigation).” Singh who has 50 bigha land in Karauli has been associated with BJP for more than 15 years. “We don’t get fair price for the crop. This has been the situation for the past two years,” he said.

Not surprisingly, the Rajasthan BJP headquarters wore a deserted look on Thursday morning as it became clear that the party was set to lose all the three seats where by-elections were held on January 29.

There was no prominent BJP face in the office till noon but state BJP president Ashok Parnami was expected to address the media later in the afternoon after declaration of the final results.

Meanwhile, a member of media cell was desperate for some good news. “Please highlight some good parts of the budget,” he called out to an assistant who was preparing a press note.

First Published: Feb 01, 2018 17:04 IST