New Delhi, Dec 8 IBNS | 2 years ago

India's main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday swept clean Assembly elections in four states, winning top positions in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, but falling short of just a few seats shy of a majority in Delhi.

The BJP led by Vasundhara Raje served a crushing defeat to the Congress in Rajasthan by securing 162 of the 199 seats that went to polls while the ruling party only managed 21.

In Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan bettered his own performance of last time and won 165 of the 230 seats, scoring a third straight term as Chief Minister.

Even in Chhattisgarh, where the BJP and Congress ran neck and neck all day, a late evening boost helped the BJP end up with a clear majority at 49 seats versus the Congress' 39.

It was only in Delhi that left something to be desired for the right wing Hindu nationalist outfit as the BJP and allies won 32 of the 70 seats, falling 4 short of a majority but ensuring a humiliating defeat to the incumbent Congress that managed just 8 seats.

The polls, seen as the semi-finals to the General Elections due by May next year, seemed to lift prospects for the BJP fronted by Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

The results also brought down spirits of the Congress, that governs the Centre, as it lost out Delhi, arguably the party's flagship state, and also succumbed Rajasthan besides remaining out of power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Congress top leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said they have learnt from the people's message and would transform the party radically to embed the voice of the common people.

"The people sent us a message through these elections. I and Congress party have taken the message from heart and not just head," said Rahul Gandhi facing the journalists along with party chief Sonia Gandhi.

"We need to move to a pradigm where where have to give serious space to the common man," said Rahul Gandhi, adding that all his effort now
will be in transforming the party and give people an organization with voice of common people embedded inside it.

"The Congress party has the ability to transform itself and stand up to the expectation of the peple and Congress party will do that," he said.

About Modi, Rahul Gandhi said he is a leader of the BJP while the Congress party has its own perspective and the job of them will be to push it before people like BJP will do its own.

Sonia Gandhi said "general elections are different".

"In state elections people look at state levels. Issues are localized at the state level," she said, indicating that the results might be different in the 2014 general elections.

On the PM candidate she said Congress will declare it at the right time.

"I feel people need not worry, at the opportune time the prime ministerial candidate name will be announced," she said.

BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi meanwhile said his party's good performance in the four Assembly polls is a "wonderful beginning" for success in the Lok Sabha polls due early next year.

"People have spoken loud and clear! The verdict has shown yet again that people want development, not corruption & votebank politics," Modi said on his Twitter page.

(Posted on 09-12-2013)