Sunday, December 08, 2013

Election 2013: BJP Wins, Congress Routed & AAP Debuts

By M H Ahssan | INN Live

DANCE OF DEMOCRACY  The verdict of the Assembly elections in four states – Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh – has sparked a wave of fresh enthusiasm in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camp, which has already been riding high after the declaration of Narendra Modi as its Prime Ministerial candidate.

Not only did the party retain its governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, it also snatched away power from the Congress party in Delhi and Rajasthan. While it sweeped Rajasthan, winning 162 seats, the BJP managed to emerge as the the single largest party in Delhi with 33 seats, two short of the half-way mark.
However, despite the good performance by the national party, the show was stolen by the debutant – Aam Aadmi Party. The party, formed by Arvind Kejriwal less than a year ago, performed spectacularly well by winning in as many as 27 seats. AAP's performance was particularly amazing as the party did not follow the traditional political means during its campaign and fielded faces alien to the Indian polity.

Both the Congress and the BJP could not refrain from taking a strong note of the performance of the Aam Aadmi Party, which has now decided to go national. While leaders from across the rank and file of the BJP congratulated AAP for its good show, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi went on to say that both the national parties needed to take lessons from Arvind Kejriwal's party.

The result in Delhi came as a big shock for Sheila Dikshit-led Congress party, which has been in power for 15 years as it was decimated by the BJP and AAP. The Congress managed to secure win in merely eight seats and adding insult to injury Sheila Dikshit lost to Kejriwal by a massive 22,000 votes in the New Delhi constituency.

Meanwhle, in Rajasthan, the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government was routed as the BJP swept the state under the leadership of Vasundhara Raje. Out of the 199 Assembly seats, the BJP emerged victorious on 162 seats while the ruling Congress registered wins in just 21. Raje, who will soon take oath as the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, said that the Narendra Modi wave was a major factor for the performance of the BJP. Modi had campaigned extensively in the state.

In Madhya Pradesh, incumbent Chief Minister Shivaj Singh Chouhan ensured a third term in the top office by bagging even more seats than his tally in previous elections. Under his leadership, the BJP won 165 seats this time. The Congress, which failed to project a face for the polls, won just 58 seats. Chouhan hailed the people of the state and thanked the central leadership of the party, including Narendra Modi and L K Advani. On the other hand, Jyotiraditya Scindia of the Congress conceded defeat early in the day, but stopped short of blaming the party leadership, saying he got very less time to travel across the state and campaign for the party.

While the BJP registered a clear and sound victory in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, it was a neck-and-neck battle in Chhattisgarh. However, overcoming intermittent hiccups, the BJP, under the leadership of Raman Singh, managed to bag 46 seats against Congress, which won a respectable 41 seats. It remains to be seen if it can manage to hold on to this lead till all the results are in.

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