Congress poised to win in
three of five states, BJP in two
Indo-Asian News Service
Delhi, Dec 8 (IANS) The Congress Monday scored a valuable
goal ahead of upcoming general elections by inching towards
victory in Rajasthan, Mizoram and Delhi, three of five states
where voters picked new assemblies, dealing a blow to the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that, however, scored a grand
win in Madhya Pradesh and seemed poised to retain power in
even as officials continued to count the millions of votes
cast in assembly elections which were widely seen as a “semi
final” before the Lok Sabha elections due next year, Congress
and BJP veterans began to analyse the rights and wrongs of
the Nov 14-Dec 4 ballot.
elections took on an added value as terrorists struck in Mumbai
slaughtering 172 people from the evening of Nov 26, casting
a shadow on all the states barring Chhattisgarh where two
rounds of balloting had already ended.
as overjoyed Congress activists took to noisy celebrations
outside party offices in the Rajasthan capital Jaipur and
in New Delhi, political analyst G.V.L. Narasimha Rao warned
that the state results were no great news for the BJP or the
Congress is certainly doing better than expected but not as
well as they should have done to win a national election,”
Rao told IANS. “The BJP is doing worse than expected and does
not look like it is in the lead to come to power nationally.
It is a mixed result overall.”
Congress leaders gloated in anticipation of the sweeping victory
in BJP-ruled Rajasthan, the country's largest state, and a
stunning third five-year term win in Delhi, the national capital
where the BJP was confident of snatching from the Congress
until late Sunday.
is no stopping the Congress now,” thundered Congress leader
M. Veerappa Moily, a confidant of party president Sonia Gandhi.
Congress was on the winning track in distant Mizoram, outclassing
the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), a former insurgent group
that has ruled the northeastern state since 1998.
BJP, however, was on the winning track in Madhya Pradesh,
with its candidates leading in 120 of the 230 seats. The BJP
has ruled both Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since 2003.
Delhi, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, widely credited by friends
and foes for the unexpected win, profusely thanked voters
in the city - a mini India. “(The outcome) is great,” she
said, as supporters and journalists swarmed her house.
midday, the Congress was touching the halfway mark in Delhi,
which has a 70-member house but where polling has been postponed
in one seat. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and independents
bagged eight valuable seats, election officials said.
Congress was on the winning track in 97 of the 200 seats in
Rajasthan and the ruling BJP ahead in 71 constituencies.
Congress led in 16 seats and the ruling Mizo National Front
(MNF) in four in Mizoram, which has a 40-seat assembly.
are going to analyse these results,” a sombre BJP spokesperson
Prakash Javadekar said. Until Sunday, most BJP leaders were
confident of retaining power in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh
and snatching power in Delhi. A few had even predicted a BJP
win in Rajasthan.
credited Dikshit for the Congress showing in Delhi, saying
she had done a “marvellous” job leading the faction-ridden
party despite many constraints including soaring food prices.
Rao said although the Mumbai mayhem caused many voters from
the upwardly mobile classes to go out and vote in Delhi Nov
29, they chose to re-vote the Congress primarily because of
Dikshit. “Between Dikshit and (BJP chief ministerial candidate
V.K.) Malhotra, the people opted for Dikshit. For these classes,
Dikshit looked far better than Malhotra.”
added: “Had the BJP put up a strong personality like Arun
Jaitley as the BJP's chief ministerial candidate, they would
have won handsomely.”