The Congress on Tuesday staged a massive comeback in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh by ousting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from the three states. Showcasing its best sign of resurgence in the polls this year, the Congress won 114 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 99 seats in Rajasthan and 68 seats in Chhattisgarh.
Speaking on the landslide victory, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday expressed happiness over the massive victory. Gandhi said the victory of the Congress party is a victory against the negative politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I am happy with 3-0 score line… It is a victory against BJP’s negative politics,” Sonia Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament after results to five state elections were declared.
The victories are seen as a sign of a turnaround of the political fortunes of the Congress under Rahul Gandhi, who took over as party president from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, and a stinging rejoinder to his critics that he could not lead the party’s revival.
It is a point that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah repeatedly underlined in their election speeches, listing all the state elections that had taken place after 2014 and how the BJP had won most of them.
Gandhi has been leading from the front ever since he was named Congress president on December 11, 2017. Days before his elevation, he launched a spirited campaign in Gujarat where the party threw a tough challenge to the BJP. Though the BJP won the elections, the Congress managed to restore some pride in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his trusted lieutenant, Amit Shah.
Later in Karnataka, Gandhi had led the election campaign in Karnataka where the party moved quickly to form a post-poll alliance with HD Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal Secular and let the smaller partner take the chief minister’s chair.
Observers contend that he still faces the challenge of reviving the Congress in key states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and West Bengal, where it has lost its political space.