TMC rules in BengalIn a formidable showing, West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress wrested the Noapara Assembly seat from the Congress and retained the Uluberia Lok Sabha seat. In the 2014 general elections, the BJP had won all 25 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan.
The Congress is rapidly gaining ground in Rajasthan with its young turk Sachin Pilot in the driver's seat. It had strategised raising the tally of seats to 180 in the assembly polls due this year end.
The counting is now underway for the Rajasthan bypolls in Alwar, Ajmer and Mandalgarh for which the elections took place on January 29. Implementation is most important and therefore a mismatch between a feasible proposal and its logical conclusion can only lead to a loss of credibility of the government.
According to another senior leader, who was camping in Alwar for the past fortnight, the bypolls proved to be a vent for the strong undercurrent against the ruling party among its traditional voters Brahmins, Rajputs and Vaishya. For this, state BJP president Ashok Parnami is being blamed by the party men. She has a strong base within the party in the state.
The bypolls, however, will strengthen those voices within the party that seek a change in leadership. The real beneficiary here has been the rebel Congress candidate. In Mandalgarh, the Congress candidate won with almost 13,000 more votes than their BJP counterpart. Singh received 1,11,729 votes, while CPIM's Gargi Chaterjee secured 35,497 votes, BJP's Sandip Banerjee 38,711 votes and Congress's Goutam Bose 10,527, reported News18. In Alwar, it was a veteran Yadav leader, a former MP, who competed with BJP's Yadav candidate, thus splitting the community.
Beyond the infighting, recent developments have turned many in the state against Raje and the mood seems to have been reflected in the massive swing towards the Congress candidates in the bye-polls. This, despite the fact that the BJP had fielded a Jat while the Congress had fielded a Brahmin.
"Well done Rajasthan Congress!" There were 23 contestants in Ajmer and 11 in Alwar. But he campaigned hard across all three seats, and told the electorate it was "his election".
Gehlot tweeted: "The countdown for the BJP at the national level has begun". This verdict will strengthen Pilot's hands.
While the Congress steered clear of defending free speech, the BJP failed to rein in the Rajput Karni Sena, the fringe group that has led a violent agitation against the movie.
Rajasthan, like Gujarat, had given the BJP a clean sweep in the 2014 parliamentary polls. Some of them like Ajmer (north) were BJP bastions.
If the current trends hold, Modi and Shah will have to prepare for a dip in those numbers.
An ecstatic Rahul Gandhi said he was proud of the team in Rajasthan. The victory here demonstrates that there was a decisive negative sentiment against the saffron rule and political posturing over the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Padmaavat has not helped in any manner to improve matters. This is a victory.
Rajasthan has voted the BJP and Congress Party into power in turns for the past five elections. Indian politics has opened up.