Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The BJP's landslide victory in Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections is a major setback for two veteran Congress leaders and former Chief Ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh.
Both these leaders had actively led the campaign - Kamal Nath from the front, while Digvijaya Singh led the cadre from behind the curtain. The Congress had lost Madhya Pradesh to the BJP in 2003, after two terms of Digvijaya Singh, and had managed to come back into power after a gap of 15 years in 2018. Despite being two-three seats short of a majority, it had managed to form the government, headed by Kamal Nath.
However, the defection of Jyotiraditya Scindia and his loyalist MLAs led to the Congress government's fall and the BJP came back into power again in March 2020. After this setback in 2020, these two senior Congress politicians had energised the shattered party cadre again by winning mayoral election last year, and they were confident to win the assembly election too, but their hopes were dashed, spelling a virtual end to their long political career.
Both the leaders inching closer to 80 years
By the next Assembly election, both these Congress veterans will be above 80 years old. This massive defeat will also lower the confidance of the Congress workers on ground, who fought hard against the BJP's multi-layer cadres in Madhya Pradesh. For the last couple of years, the Congress state unit has witnessed tremendous changes, especially on the grass root level and this was the reason, it had high expectations of winning this election.
It also the first time Kamal Nath witnessed such a massive defeat in his long political career. During the poll campaign, he was often heard saying: "I have contested several elections in 40 years of my political career and I have won all of them." In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 28 out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh, but Kamal Nath managed to win Chhindwara for his son Nakul Nath despite the strong wave of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.