Results of assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and to an extent Madhya Pradesh have rattled the BJP while galvanized the Congress cadres. The enthusiasm among Congress workers can be seen across the country with the party even capturing Chhatisgarh where it was supposed to win again.
Results of assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and to an extent Madhya Pradesh have rattled the BJP while galvanising the Congress cadres. The party has suddenly become hopeful of putting up a good show in 2019 even in a state like Odisha where it had practically conceded the role of the main opposition party in the state to the BJP seems to have got a fresh lease of life with its confidence back.
“The rub-off effect of the results in the Hindi heartland would be felt by the Odisha unit. This will galvanize out cadres into action. The victory in Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh could not have come at a better time for us,” said a senior party leader of the state.
The development serves as a morale booster for the party at a time when the state unit is being riven by infighting and dissension. The party is also battling problems on other fronts. While funds remain a constraint, most of the senior leaders have become less active. Feeling neglected some leaders have already left the party. Former chief minister, Giridhar Gamang left the party long back and joined the BJP along with his son, Sisir.
Selection of candidates for the 2019 elections, an exercise the party has initiated in advance, has also turned out to be an invidious exercise with many leaders become disgruntled. Some are likely to snap their relations with the party and join either Biju Janata Dal (BJD) or BJP.
But the enthusiasm among Congress workers can be seen across the country with the party even capturing Chhatisgarh where the outgoing BJP chief minister, Raman Singh was supposed to win again.
“No wonder the victory has revived our spirits but we cannot afford to crow about it. We have to build our own base. We have been out of power in several states. We want to stage a grand comeback,” commented a Congress leader.
For the BJP it is time for introspection. While Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and party chief, Amit Shah will sit down with senior leaders to analyse – where their strategy went wrong; their bigger worry is what might happen in Uttar Pradesh, the biggest state in the country from where Modi is a Lok Sabha MP.
On the other hand, the BJP in Odisha, though disappointed by the outcome in Rajasthan and MP in particular is not exactly down in the dumps. “It is time for us to introspect. We must sit down and find out where we went wrong. I think complacency cost us dear in these states. The same mistake should not be repeated in 2019,” said a senior state BJP leader, while asserting that Odisha unit of the party was unitedly working to achieve the target of 120 assembly seats set by national BJP president, Amit Shah.
With Prime Minister, Narendra Modi likely to visit the state towards the end of this month state BJP leaders are working hard to keep the cadres in high spirits and generate public opinion in favour of the party. They are confident that with both Modi and Shah according priority to Odisha in their scheme of things for 2019 as far as country’s eastern region is concerned the party can only grow in the state.