• Sunday, March 03, 2024

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Modi’s opposition look for answers after Hindi heartland rout, admit they need to work harder

Questions were also being asked about the Congress’s show in the three states where the BJP humiliated it.

(L-R) Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

THE anti-Narendra Modi opposition alliance that a number of leaders stitched this year in the form of INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in next year’s general election and those lined up before it received a jolt on Sunday (3) when the saffron party wrested three key states in the Hindi heartland region of the country.

The BJP bagged Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh with the Indian National Congress finishing the second best in all three. In fact, two of these three states were ruled by the Congress before the saffron party snatched them while killing the anti-incumbency factor in Madhya Pradesh.

Read: Indians firmly with good governance: Modi says after massive win in Hindi heartland

The INDIA bloc has gone into a huddle following the defeats with Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge convening a meeting of the opposition alliance at his residence in New Delhi on Wednesday (6).

On Monday (4), opposition leaders said that the BJP’s win in the three states will not impact the INDIA bloc but conceded that the parties need to work harder for next year’s general election.

Read: US singer-actor Mary Millben praises Modi over win in heartland states

A day after the results, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah said the opposition INDIA bloc parties will have to work harder.

Asked about the results and its possible impact on the alliance, he said, “It will make no difference to the alliance. We will have to work harder.”

“Victories and losses happen. We should learn from the defeat, as well as from those who have won. India has to be one, it is for everyone, and we need to strengthen the country,” the NC leader said.

Asked about the Samajwadi Party not being accommodated in the state of Madhya Pradesh by the Congress while announcing its candidates for the state and its possible impact on the results, Abdullah said, “All will have to be accommodated and we will have to move forward.”

Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Jha also said the results will not impact the alliance. “These were state polls. These should be left behind. National elections will be held on different issues. It (Assembly poll results) will not have any impact, everyone will have to understand the unity of the INDIA bloc… there is no contradiction,” he said.

Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said his party will introspect on what went wrong in the polls and maintained that it will not impact the opposition grouping.

All opposition parties attended a meeting held at Kharge’s office in Parliament on Monday morning to discuss the political situation, he said.

Meanwhile, Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader and parliamentarian Chirag Paswan blamed Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and the caste survey held in the state responsible for the loss.

Paswan joined the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance in July. “The opposition was making self goals and it is Bihar CM Nitish Kumar who has caused maximum damage to the INDI Alliance. The comments he made against women, the kind of remarks they made against Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes leaders… the kind of remarks made against former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi impacted them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee, one of the major faces of the INDIA bloc, said the result in the Hindi heartland states showed a loss for the Congress and not the people. She will also give the bloc meeting on Wednesday saying she was not aware of it.

(With PTI inputs)

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