Five months after it lost three heartland states to the Congress, the BJP powered back there in the Lok Sabha elections - an outcome likely to give credence to its claim that its voter base in the state remains intact. While in Rajasthan it is a clean sweep, in Madhya Pradesh, the party is expected to win 28 of the 29 seats.
The victory, however, is expected to spell trouble for the Kamal Nath government that's struggling to contain factionalism. Senior BJP leaders have claimed that the government will topple if they challenge it but they preferred to wait till the national elections are over.
Earlier this week, claiming the Congress government is in minority, the BJP had asked Governor Anandiben Patel to convene the state assembly, presumably for a test of strength.
Kamal Nath - whose government has a wafer-thin majority and is supported by Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav -- said they have proved majority "at least four times in five months" and is "ready for a floor test". The BJP, he said, "will try their best to disturb the present government to save themselves from getting exposed".
Similar concerns are likely to surface in Karnataka, ruled by the Congress-HD Kumaraswamy alliance. The BJP has been accused of attempting to engineer defections of opposition legislators in the state in 2008 - a move termed Operation Lotus.
For the Madhya Pradesh Congress, the poor showing in the Lok Sabha elections is indicative of another concern.
Traditionally, Madhya Pradesh has voted in the same party in a Lok Sabha election that follows an assembly poll. The victory margins for parliament are usually higher. The sudden change in voting pattern points to an electorate disgruntled despite the government's claims of meeting most of its pre-election promises.
Kamal Nath's predecessor Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been camping out in the state since the election, has repeatedly accused the government of failing to arrange for loan waivers for farmers. The matter speedily became an election issue as Mr Nath produced a list of farmers whose loans have been waived, claiming it had the signatures of Shivraj Singh Chouhan's relatives.
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