Elections were held in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram. Congress came in first in States that are key in the next Union general elections in 2019. Rural dissatisfaction played a crucial role.
New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party, lost three State elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. This is crucial for the next general elections scheduled for May 2019.
According to political analysts, the results, which were announced today, are the worst setback for Prime Minister and BJP leader Narendra Modi, since he came to power in 2014.
For the experts, the loss could heavily influence the next electoral round and unite the oppositions, which are already riding popular dissatisfaction in various strata of the population, especially among the young and farmers strangled by debt.
This round of voting is the last before next year’s national election. In all, five States held a poll for their respective State Assembly.
In addition to the three aforementioned States, voters voted in Telangana and Mizoram where ballots are still being counted. In both States regional parties are expected to win, namely the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Mizo National Front (MNF).
Rahul Gandhi's Indian National Congress (INC) is in the lead in all three key states: 114 seats out of 199 (81 for the BJP) in Rajasthan; 59 seats out of 90 (24 for the BJP) in Chhattisgarh; and 112 seats out of 230 (103 to Hindu nationalists) in Madhya Pradesh, the most important battleground.
Several thorny questions weighed heavily on these elections: rural dissatisfaction, unemployment, the lack of development, and the failure to address an epidemic of suicides among farmers burdened by debts.
“We’ve all voted for Congress this time and our candidate is winning here,” said Bishnu Prasad Jalodia, a wheat grower in Madhya Pradesh. the “BJP ignored us farmers, they ignored those of us at the bottom of the [social] pyramid,” he told Reuters.