- BJP bags all 25 seats, months after losing state election to Congress
- "Don't lose heart," Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told Congress workers
- Ashok Gehlot's son lost election today by more than two lakh votes
Rajasthan turned into a gold rush today for the BJP with the party taking all 25 seats in the desert state. Just three months ago, the BJP lost the state election here to the Congress, a defeat that was attributed to the overwhelming anti-incumbency of Vasundhara Raje, seen as an inaccessible Chief Minister.
So today's perfect score- which mirrors 2014 - is sweet revenge. "This is a huge pro-incumbency vote," said Rajyavardhan Rathore, who was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and was today re-elected from the constituency of Jaipur rural. He was crediting the advancement of the Modi Wave to every state in India, which saw Narendra Modi leading his party to an incredible victory - at the time of writing this, it was placed to win 25 seats out of 25, a repeat performance of its win in 2014.
Vasundhara Raje, not known as a favourite of either the PM's or his top aide, party president Amit Shah, was quick to deliver her own message of thanks to them.
"This is a historic win for the BJP and the credit goes to Modi ji's leadership and Amit Shah, their leadership has put the nation first," she said.
The Congress, on the other hand, will be less forthcoming about the end credits for this election.The perpetual conflict between its Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot and his deputy, Sachin Pilot, has meant competing bids to control the arena when it comes to choosing candidates and the campaign. Mr Gehlot's son, Vaibhav, lost his election today by more than two lakh votes - a resounding defeat - in the constituency that the Chief Minister used to represent.
"Congress workers have worked together under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi to apprise people of party's policies, programmes, principles and its manifesto. They don't need to lose heart, we have to continuously strive to maintain the country's unity," Mr Gehlot tweeted in Hindi.
Each time the Congress crashes and burns in an election, the leadership of its president, Rahul Gandhi, is sliced and diced - loudly by critics outside the party and in whispers within. This time, one of the data points being examined is whether he erred in forcing younger leaders like Mr Pilot, 40, to play supporting roles to veterans like Mr Gehlot, who is 62 years old and has been chief minister thrice. When their roles in Rajasthan were decided, it was felt that the maturity of seniors was the need of the hour; now, they are being viewed as a bottleneck. And in failing to choose one leader and taking refuge in pairs, Mr Gandhi's own indecision is being revisited as a weakness.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)