With the BJP underperforming than what was predicted by the exit polls in the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections today, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took a dig at the ruling party and said "calm and quiet patriotism can defeat muscular nationalism".
Mr Chidambaram, who was sent to Enforcement Directorate custody till October 30 in the INX Media case by a court in Delhi today, also had words of encouragement for the workers of his party: "Congress workers must believe that the BJP can be defeated in an election."
I have asked my family to tweet on my behalf the following:— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) October 24, 2019
Congress workers must believe that the BJP can be defeated in an election.
Calm and quiet patriotism can defeat muscular nationalism.
"Once people shed fears, miracles can happen," he added in another tweet.
Today's results are the first assembly elections after the BJP's stellar performance in the national elections in May. In Haryana, the BJP is leading in 40 seats in the 90-member assembly, where the majority mark is at 46. The Congress is leading on 31 seats in the state where Jat leader Dushyant Chautala's JJP could emerge as a possible kingmaker.
The BJP is also set to form government in Maharashtra along with ally Shiv Sena.
In Maharashtra, the BJP and its ally Shiv Sena are ahead in around 150 of the state's 288 assembly seats. But the tally is still is way below the 250 seats they were expecting. The BJP, particularly, fell short of expectations. The party was hoping to cross the majority mark on its own steam, but is leading in around 100 seats -- way below its 2014 tally of 122. The Sena is heading for a tally of around 60. The majority mark lies at 145.
The trends are seen as a wake-up call for the BJP, which contested the state elections on national themes.