Raipur: As election result trends point to a comfortable victory by the Congress in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said the BJP’s attempts to polarise the polls proved futile and people’s mandate in the southern state shows that ‘Bajrangbali’ is with the grand old party.
According to the counting trends updated by the Election Commission at 1.30 pm on Saturday, Congress has won 4 seats and is leading in 129 others. BJP has emerged victorious in 2 seats and is leading in 63 others. The state has 224 Assembly seats.
Talking to reporters in Raipur, Baghel said the Bharatiya Janata Party had realised that it was going to lose the Karnataka elections and hence images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on television were replaced with that of BJP chief JP Nadda.
He described BJP’s electoral performance in Karnataka as Modi’s defeat. He said Modi had centred the saffron party’s entire election campaign around himself and this loss is his loss.
“I congratulate our national president Mallikarjun Kharge ji, Rahul ji, Priyanka ji, Sonia ji and all party leaders and workers and Karnataka leadership. At a time when the BJP is trying to heavily polarise, the people of Karnataka have given their verdict. It has clarified that ‘Bajrangbali’ (Lord Hanuman) is with Congress” he said.
During the campaign, Modi had hit out at the Congress for promising a ban on the right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal and equated the ban with “locking up” Bajrangbali. He also chanted ‘Jai Bajrangbali’ in a few speeches.
The CM of Chhattisgarh, where the Congress is in power, said that the response to Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ – his foot march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir – had indicated the masses' inclination towards their party.
“They (people) were fed up with the BJP. The victory in Karnataka after Himachal Pradesh will boost the morale of party workers and they will gain confidence. The issues raised by the Congress are being accepted by people,” the CM said.
Baghel also took a dig at the BJP over Modi’s “Congress-Mukt” remark.
“They (BJP) talk about ‘Congress-mukt’ Bharat but now south India has become ‘BJP-mukt’. They had anticipated their defeat therefore images of Modi ji were replaced with pictures of Nadda ji on television. BJP leaders had also started talking about Yogi ji and bulldozers. They knew that the magic of Modi ji has now ended,” he added.
Chhattisgarh is scheduled to go for polls by year-end.