Election Results 2023: Congress is trailing the BJP in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The Congress's poor showing in this round of assembly polls is only expected to consolidate its position in the margins of the INDIA alliance. The party, which till this morning, was hoping to retain Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and register a win in Madhya Pradesh, is now trailing far behind the BJP in all three. The only silver lining is Telangana, where it is on track to dislodge the decade-old government of K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The sniping in the INDIA alliance that keeps making headlines, appears to have started.
Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress accused the Congress 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.
"The Congress defeat is not the defeat of the INDIA Alliance," declared senior Janata Dal United leader KC Tyagi. "It has been made clear that the Congress cannot compete with BJP... The Congress will have to come out of this syndrome," he said.
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.
Veteran Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar toned it down. Agreeing that this verdict will "not have any impact on the INDIA alliance," he said, "We will be meeting at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's residence in Delhi. We will speak to those who know the ground reality. We will be able to comment on it only after the meeting".
He, however, attributed the Congress gains in Telangana as an effect of Rahul Gandhi's Kanyakumari-to-Kashmir Bharat Jodo Yatra, saying such an outcome was clear from the beginning.
But the alliance may still have to rethink its strategy, given the Congress defeat in the Hindi heartland also may indicate that its caste census plank did not resonate with the voters in the Hindi heartland.
A pressure to hold caste census has been a huge part of the Opposition arsenal against the BJP, which has accused the party of being anti-Dalit and anti-tribal.
The results now show that in both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the Congress is trailing the BJP in areas dominated by the Scheduled Castes and Tribes. Its number of SC/ST seats have also dwindled, as the BJP increased its tally.