As the Bharatiya Janata Party seems all set to sweep three major Hindi heartland states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, as per the early trends on Sunday, former India pacer Vankatesh Prasad took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to praise the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the massive win ahead of Lok Sabha elections in 2024.
On X, Prasad wrote, "Abusing Sanatana Dharma was bound to have it’s consequences.Many congratulations to the BJP for a landslide victory. Just another testimony of the amazing leadership of Prime Minister @narendramodi ji & @AmitShah & great work by the party cadre at grassroot levels."
In addition to this, Congress leader and spiritual guru Acharya Pramod too took to X and said that the opposition parties, especially the Congress’s stand on Sanatana Dharma turned detrimental for them and gave BJP an edge in the Hindi heartland states. Pramod, in Hindi, wrote, "सनातन का “श्राप” ले डूबा (Sanatan's curse drowned them)."
The Congress has firmly lost the mandate in the Hindi Heartland. The party has been wiped out of Madhya Pradesh with the BJP winning its fourth assembly election in the state.
Shivraj Chouhan decimates Congress in MP
Incumbent chief minister Shivraj Chouhan and the BJP decimated the Congress heading towards a clean sweep in the state.
As results of the Assembly polls came in, the Congress appeared on the verge of being voted out in Rajasthan as the state stays true to its cyclic voting trend, while in Chhattisgarh the BJP is poised to edge out the Congress in the state. The lone spark of joy for the Congress has come from Telangana where it is poised to form a government on its own.
The electoral contest has gone horribly wrong for the Congress in MP where they were pinning their hopes on a return to power. The Congress, which gave absolute control to the old guard of 78-year-old Kamal Nath and 76-year-old Digvijaya Singh had no answer for the BJP's social engineering and social scheme formula. Led from the front by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP had put all its might into the MP elections pushing central ministers and Lok Sabha MPs into the political arena.
The Congress pushed its campaign around its 11 guarantees, which included a host of freebies, but the voter found nothing substantive in this with the BJP already giving the people the benefit of several social schemes especially the 'Ladli Behna' scheme that saw massive support amongst the women voters.
Neck-to-neck contest in Chhattisgarh
The Congress which had one just one Lok Sabha seat in MP and just two in Chhattisgarh will now realise that it no longer holds any aces in the Hindi Heartland and is now a party relegated to the South of the Vindhyas. The loss of the three states in the heartland will greatly worry the Congress, it means there are no takers here for the Congress' electoral volley 'Caste Census'.
The Congress' lead by Rahul Gandhi discovered merit in the caste census after the Bihar government, of which the Congress is a part, conducted an exercise to determine the caste composition of the state. The Congress promised a similar exercise in all these states where it was seeking power but now it appears there are no takers for this.
The Congress, which won the election in Himachal Pradesh on the back of its promise to revive the Old Pension scheme and an election in Karnataka on the basis of a bunch of electoral sops, also sold these sops as part of its election campaign in the Hindi Heartland.
Reasons for BJP's massive gains
However, that strategy backfired as the BJP first reinforced its free ration scheme for another five years and played on its successful social schemes in Madhya Pradesh. Rahul Gandhi's attack on the Prime Minister claiming that he had abandoned the OBCs' also backfired. The Prime Minister, himself an OBC and Shivraj Chouhan negated that harping on Congress' corruption tainted record.
With just months to go before PM Narendra Modi seeks a historic third term from the people, the Congress has had to fall back on its allies. Already Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge has dialled the leaders of the INDIA block to meet next week. The fight is now well and truly on for 2024, but it seems the Congress will need to punch far above its weight to have any hope of displacing the BJP.
(With inputs from ANI)