Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday congratulated the Congress in tweets after the opposition party snatched Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh from the BJP and appeared headed to push out the ruling party from Madhya Pradesh as well.
“We accept the people’s mandate with humility,” PM Modi said in a series of tweets as the Congress, which had been neck and neck with the BJP in Madhya Pradesh through the day, held on to its lead. The final results are expected to be declared past midnight.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who had addressed a media briefing just minutes earlier, had attacked PM Modi, accusing him of arrogance.
“This is a clear message to the prime minister and the BJP that the country is not happy with what they are doing,” Gandhi, 48, said, celebrating his party’s best performance in state elections in recent years.
Long before the results were eventually declared for Madhya Pradesh, the Congress president said Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party too would support the Congress if required.
Raman Singh, the BJP’s outgoing Chhattisgarh chief minister had been the first one to concede defeat earlier in the evening. He also owned responsibility for the party’s performance in Chhattisgarh and shielded the BJP’s central leadership from blame. Raman Singh, the BJP’s longest serving chief minister said he had been credited for the party’s previous wins and it was only in the fitness of things, that he took the responsibility for the defeat.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley later acknowledged that the BJP did expect to do much better.
“I think result was certainly not as expected and it’s an opportunity to pause and analyse, for results were not as per expected,” Jaitley said, underscoring that he did not believe that anti-incumbency was at play. “But the fatigue factor does come in,” he told news agency ANI.
In Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the BJP had been in power for 15 years and had hoped for a fourth straight win.
In a series of tweets later, PM Narendra Modi thanked the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
“I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. The BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people,” he said.
He also congratulated Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao for the thumping win in Telangana and to the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their impressive victory in Mizoram, the two regional parties that emerged victorious in the election.