State Election Results 2023 round-up: BJP sweeps MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh; Congress gets Telangana
"We bow to the Janta Janardhan," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi after BJP swept Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the state assembly elections 2023. Meanwhile, Congress is on course to form the government in Telangana with Revnath Reddy possibly being CM choice.
The BJP on Sunday secured power in the Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh. Meanwhile, the Congress displaced the ruling party in Telangana in a pivotal electoral exercise preceding the looming Lok Sabha polls just months away. The saffron party will now be in power in 12 states on its own, while the Congress will come down to three after losing Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
As the votes were tallied for the assembly elections in the four states on Sunday, the unfolding trends on the Election Commission website presented a complex mosaic that could ultimately bear the imprint of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The dynamics suggested a pro-incumbency sentiment in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, juxtaposed with an anti-incumbency wave in the Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
The electoral contests, serving as a precursor to the 2024 polls, witnessed a direct face-off between the BJP and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh. In Telangana, the competition centered on a head-to-head battle between the Congress and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) led by K Chandrashekhar Rao, aiming for a potential hat-trick victory.
“People have blessed BJP in three states... endorsed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and rejected the Congress' false promises,” Union minister Pralhad Joshi said as counting day progressed and celebrations broke out in BJP quarters in several places.
BJP once more in Madhya Pradesh
The BJP has secured a continued hold on power in Madhya Pradesh, triumphing with 120 seats and leading in 44, according to the official results at 8 pm. The Congress' aspirations to seize control from the BJP were dashed, with the grand old party managing to secure only 35 seats and leading in 30 more.
The BJP office in Bhopal erupted in celebrations, contrasting with the deserted atmosphere at the Congress office on Sunday. The saffron party appeared set to maintain its hold on power in Madhya Pradesh, securing a decisive victory over its rival. The air resonated with the crackle of fireworks, and exuberant party workers danced to the rhythmic beats of drums, creating a festive atmosphere at the BJP office. Amidst the jubilation, party leaders and workers embraced each other, sharing the joyous moment and distributing sweets.
Several leaders credited the electoral triumph to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, highlighting his impactful presence with 14 poll rallies in the state.
“Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji is in the hearts of the people of Madhya Pradesh. The state is also in the heart of Modi ji,” said four-term Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. The BJP has been in power in the state for 18 years.
During his moment of triumph, he highlighted the state government's successful implementation of schemes such as Ladli Lakshmi and Ladli Behna, emphasizing extensive efforts for the welfare of farmers, the underprivileged, and the youth.
The festivities at the BJP office in Bhopal were heightened as State Chief V D Sharma actively participated in the celebrations, joining his party colleagues in dancing. The atmosphere was vibrant with joy as leaders shared the moment together.
In sharp contrast, the Congress office presented a desolate scene. MP Congress President Kamal Nath and senior party leader Digvijaya Singh were present at the state office, engaging in discussions with party functionaries as the subdued atmosphere reflected the contrast between the two political camps.
A total of 2,533 candidates, including Chouhan and his predecessor and rival, the seasoned Congress leader Kamal Nath, contested in the elections.
In the 2013 elections, the BJP secured a total of 165 seats, while the Congress claimed 58. During that electoral contest, the BJP accumulated 44.88 percent of the votes, surpassing the Congress, which polled at 36.38 percent.
Fast forward to 2018, and the political landscape saw a shift. The Congress emerged triumphant in 114 seats, securing a 40.89 percent vote share. In contrast, the BJP, while winning 109 seats, closely followed with a 41.02 percent vote share. The electoral dynamics showcased a nuanced change in the distribution of seats and voter preferences between the two parties.
BJP wins majority in Rajasthan
While the BJP secured a decisive victory, retaining power in the central Indian state, it also unseated the Congress in neighboring Rajasthan, a state that has historically swung between the two parties in alternating electoral cycles. On Sunday, the BJP achieved a significant milestone in Rajasthan by surpassing the halfway mark, securing victory in 100 out of the 199 assembly constituencies where elections were conducted.
As per the latest results and trends available on the Election Commission website, the BJP not only won 100 seats but was also leading in an additional 15 constituencies at 7 pm. The Congress, aspiring to break the pattern of the incumbent party losing power in the state every five years, secured 58 seats and was leading in 11.
The remaining 15 seats saw victories or leads for candidates from parties like the Bharat Adivasi Party, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, and Independent candidates.
In Rajasthan, the Congress, marked by internal divisions, was under the leadership of Ashok Gehlot. Interestingly, the BJP did not have a chief ministerial face.
Regarding the selection of the new chief minister for Rajasthan, Prahlad Joshi mentioned that the decision would be made "very soon and smoothly."
Taking a dig at Gehlot, who hails from a family of magicians, Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat remarked that the magic had come to an end, and the people had voted for the dignity of women and the welfare of the poor.
“The way we are moving towards a huge majority in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, it is clear that the people trust Modi's guarantee and has rejected the Congress' gimmicks (nautanki). Modi magic is the real magic and every other magician has failed,” added BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla.
In Chhattisgarh, ‘Modi ki Guarantee’ trumps Cong’s promises of freebies
Leading up to the Chhattisgarh assembly elections, both the Congress and BJP engaged in robust efforts to attract farmers, women, and the economically disadvantaged through populist schemes. The BJP's electoral strategy, highlighted as 'Modi ki Guarantee 2023,' appears to have resonated well, positioning the party for a decisive return to power in the tribal-dominated state.
In the 2018 assembly polls, the Congress clinched a sweeping victory primarily fueled by a substantial anti-incumbency sentiment against the then BJP government and the grand old party's commitment to freebies and welfare initiatives.
The trends at 8 pm on Sunday revealed that the BJP had secured 34 seats and was leading in 20, while the Congress had won 20 constituencies and was ahead in 15, signaling a potential shift in political dynamics favoring the BJP in Chhattisgarh.
Congress gets Telangana; Revnath Reddy could be CM
On Sunday, the Congress was on the brink of reaching the crucial threshold of 60 seats, paving the way for the formation of the first non-BRS government in Telangana. This southern triumph stood in contrast to the saffron surge in the Hindi heartland, where the BJP secured two states from its rival and retained one. Telangana becomes the second southern state to align with the Congress in 2023, following its earlier victory in Karnataka in May.
Establishing a virtually insurmountable lead over the ruling BRS, the Mallikarjun Kharge-led Congress secured 47 seats and led in an additional 17, according to the figures from the Election Commission at 7 pm. Meanwhile, the BRS, with 101 members in the outgoing Assembly, managed to win 22 seats and was leading in 17 others.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao promptly submitted his resignation to the Governor in the wake of his party's lackluster performance.
Anumula Revanth Reddy, the driving force behind the Congress' campaign, now stands at the threshold of a potential chief ministership. The 56-year-old leader recently engaged with top police officials of the state to discuss security arrangements for the impending swearing-in ceremony, anticipated to take place on either December 4 or 9.
Expressing gratitude for the people's mandate in favor of the national party, Reddy acknowledged the support while the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), led by KCR, voiced disappointment over its inability to secure a third consecutive victory. The KCR-led BRS had initially formed the inaugural government of the newly carved-out Telangana in 2014 and continued its winning streak in 2018.
"It is a people's mandate. We need not (do) a postmortem. Everything goes well, then only you will get that magic number. The simple point is that they (people) wanted to change. They wanted to defeat KCR (CM Rao). They have defeated KCR. That's all," Reddy told reporters.
To revive democratic values, we are expecting that the BRS will come forward," he said.
The BRS faced a disappointing electoral outcome primarily due to factors such as anti-incumbency, voter fatigue, and discontent among the youth. Despite the formidable stature of Chief Minister KCR and the party's well-established grassroots network and welfare initiatives, the perceived unapproachability of its leaders played a significant role in fueling anti-incumbency sentiments.
Furthermore, the opposition's portrayal of what they labeled as the BRS family rule in the state only intensified these sentiments. In contrast, the Congress conducted an energetic election campaign aimed at displacing the BRS from power, while the BJP also launched an aggressive assault against the ruling dispensation.