While the election results generated tremendous interest and excitement. The common perception is that it does not matter which party wins the elections, the public always loses them.
The wait is now over. The results are finally out. The public in MP is happy, not for electing Congress, but for rejecting the BJP. The BJP governed the state since 2003 and even till last year no one would have believed that it will be voted out of power in 2018.
The MP elections are over and thank God for that. The counting seemed to go on for eternity; it wasn’t for the faint of heart. The nail biting finish to exciting and closely contested election comes to an end. Congress would form the government in the state.
The MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan conceded defeat and resigned from his post earlier today. Despite anti incumbency and ruling the state for 15 consecutive years, Shivraj Chouhan almost managed an improbable fourth term. He remains one of the most popular leaders in the state ever and remained graceful in his defeat congratulating Kamal Nath for victory.
The Congress state president Kamal Nath met the governor of the state Anandiben Patel to stake a claim for forming the government. Ever since Kamal Nath took over the reigns of the state congress, he galvanised them into a united force and eventually led Congress to victory.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Digvijay Singh and Vivek Tankha were the other Congress leaders who accompanied Kamal Nath to meet the governor. The Congress party won 114 seats, received support from BSP, with 2, 1 from SP & 4 seats from independent candidates. The total tally of Congress and its allies is 121 seats.
Sources from the Congress party confirmed that Kamal Nath is the front runner for the Chief Minister’s position in MP.
Jyotiraditya Scindia who is in the reckoning for the CM position said that he will accept the party’s decision on the CM candidate. He took a dig at the BJP saying “The BJP has not been able to cross 200 seats in all five states taken together. They had claimed they would cross 200 in MP alone. I would request the BJP to shed their arrogance and come down to the ground.”
BJP state president, Rakesh Singh had earlier dismissed the exit polls, which had indicated BJP’s defeat in the state. He also tweeted after declaration of the results that BJP has the majority and they will be meeting the governor to form the government. It later turned out to be a faux pas.
The BJP suffered defeat and lost 56 seats from 2013, where it won 165 seats in the assembly. As many as 13 ministers lost the election this time, which should be reason enough for the party to review and introspect on what went wrong.
The public voted against BJP, the Congress certainly didn’t do enough to cash in on the anti incumbency. The Congress on its own won 114 seats out of 130, which is not bad. But considering that the BJP government had already ruled for the last 15 years & public sentiment was against them. The Congress could have done better.
While the elections are over, it is important for politicians to realise that the state needs strong leadership to steer the state on the path of development. There are gruelling challenges ahead of the next state government. The quality of primary education, farmer issues, employment, growth of business and self employment opportunities are just a few to name.
The big takeaway from the elections is that no one is over and above the common man. You can have all the power in the world, but democracy rules the roost and can turn the tables quicker than you can imagine. Stay grounded and in touch with people who elect you as their representatives. Public service is not for exclusivity, but in striving for the common good.
With 2019 elections round the corner, the politicians should take note that the public favours no one, but those who take care of them and they should not take the common man for granted.
The mandate makes it clear you cannot sell dreams and fake promises anymore. The public wants accountability, execution and development not rhetoric and marketing.