Election Results 2023: The Congress was hoping to retain Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and win Madhya Pradesh.
Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge thanked the people in all four states this evening following the party's victory in Telangana and the rout in the three heartland states at the hands of the BJP. "We'll overcome temporary setback... prepare for Lok Sabha polls," he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
The Congress had been hoping to retain Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and post a victory in Madhya Pradesh, which it lost to the BJP in 2020 following Jyotiraditya Scindia's defection. But early trends established the party behind the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, where it was initially leading, also showed a reverse as the day wore on.
The only bright spot was Telangana, where the party has managed to dislodge K Chandrasekhar Rao's Bharat Rashtra Samithi, which had been in power for a decade.
"I thank the people of Telangana for the mandate we have received from them. I also thank all those who voted for us in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan," Mr Kharge posted.
"Our performance in these three states have no doubt been disappointing, but with determination, we reaffirm our strong resolve to rebuild and revive ourselves in these three states," his post read.
"We will overcome temporary setbacks and prepare ourselves fully for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections along with the INDIA parties," he added.
The Congress has already had negative feedback from some of the INDIA bloc colleagues.
Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress, never one to pull a punch, accused the Grand Old Party of having an entitled attitude and advised it to introspect.
"This is not a success of BJP, this is total failure of Congress," said Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh. "The Congress must come out from its 'zamindari mentality' and must share and implement the experience of other senior leaders like Mamata Banerjee," he added.
"It has been made clear that the Congress cannot compete with BJP... The Congress will have to come out of this syndrome," declared senior Janata Dal United leader KC Tyagi.
The Congress, he added for good measure, has already "distanced itself" from the constituent parties and scoffed at the alliance meeting called by the Congress on December 6. "What use are rains when the crops have dried up," was how he put it.