Poll results in heartland unexpected, will continue working for people: Gehlot | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Poll results in heartland unexpected, will continue working for people: Gehlot

Dec 03, 2023 06:36 PM IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested power from the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and retained it in Madhya Pradesh

Rajasthan’s outgoing chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday called the results of the assembly elections in Hindi heartland states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh unexpected while vowing to continue working for the people until his last breath.

Rajasthan’s outgoing chief minister Askok Gehlot. (PTI)
Rajasthan’s outgoing chief minister Askok Gehlot. (PTI)

“The defeat in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh is a topic of discussion,” said Gehlot as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wrested power from the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

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The BJP retained power in Madhya Pradesh while the Congress managed to win in the southern state of Telangana months before the national polls. The four states, where the election results were announced on Sunday, send 82 representatives to the Lok Sabha.

Gehlot said it would be wrong to say that new faces might have delivered better results. “There were talks of bringing new faces...new faces should come but this demand was not there in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and still we lost the elections. It would be wrong to say that we would have won the election [in Rajasthan] if new faces were brought.”

Gehlot said Congress’s top leaders Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra campaigned and their schemes were exemplary. “We were expecting to win on the back of our schemes, laws, and promises,” Gehlot said. He quoted Kharge asking them to prepare for the 2024 national election.

Gehlot hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah for inciting people in the name of religion in the campaigning. He said he expected the people to give a befitting reply.

In a post on X earlier, Gehlot said he humbly accepts the mandate. “This is an unexpected result for everyone. This defeat shows that we were not completely successful in taking our plans...to the public.” He wished the new government best. “My advice is that despite working hard, we were not successful, but it does not mean that they should not work after forming the government.”

He said all the schemes the Congress introduced, including the old pension and the Chiranjeevi health insurance scheme, should be taken forward. “I thank all the Congress workers who worked hard in this election and express my gratitude to all the voters who believed in us.”

The BJP was ahead on 115 of 199 constituencies while the Congress on 69 in line with the trend of voting out the incumbent every five years. Gehlot expected to put up a tough battle on the back of welfare and cash transfer schemes. A majority of exit polls predicted that the BJP was coming back to power. But IndiaToday-AxisMyIndia and Today’s Chanakya-News 24 predicted that Congress was marginally ahead.

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    Sachin Saini is Special Correspondent for Rajasthan. He covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.

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