New Delhi: Training guns at Narendra Modi-powered Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said that his party's victory in Kolaras and Mungaoli bypolls in Madhya Pradesh was a ''defeat of misgovernance''.
The Congress president took to micro-blogging site Twitter and congratulated the people of Madhya Pradesh, voters and Congress workers for winning the bypolls.
मध्यप्रदेश की जागरूक जनता, मतदाताओं व कांग्रेस कार्यकर्ताओं को कोलारस - मुंगावली की शानदार जीत की बधाई।
यह अहंकार तथा कुशासन की हार व उम्मीद की जीत है। पहले राजस्थान और अब मध्यप्रदेश ने साबित किया कि बदलाव की आहट दस्तक दे रही है।
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) March 1, 2018
Remarks from the Gandhi scion came hours after Congress bagged Kolaras along with Mungaoli assembly seats in the hotly contested elections with the ruling BJP in the state.
Importantly, it is also the fourth consecutive victory of the Congress party after it tasted success in Ater and Khajuraho constituencies in 2017.
Congress's Mahendra Yadav defeated former MLA and BJP candidate Devendra Jain by 8083 votes in Kolaras constituency.
In Mungaoli, Congress candidate Brajendra Singh Yadav defeated BJP candidate Baisahab Yadav by 2124 votes.
The assembly seats fell vacant after the death of sitting Congress MLAs Mahendra Singh Kalukheda (Mungaoli) and Ram Singh Yadav (Kolaras).
Congress party's victories in Kolaras and Mungaoli have surely come as a shot in the arm for the party that has been out of power in the state for almost 15 years. Congress leaders claim that the victory in Kolaras and Mungaoli indicate the way the wind is blowing in the state.
While the BJP has been in power in Madhya Pradesh since December 8, 2003, Shivraj Singh Chouhan became the state's chief minister on November 29, 2005. Under him, the BJP has decimated the opposition in every election in the state. But a string of by-election losses in the last few months is now beginning to hurt him.
Chouhan led the BJP campaign in Kolaras as well as Mungaoli, well aware that any setback will lead to his rivals within and outside the BJP claiming that his charisma is on the wane. Chouhan made several promises during the campaign for the tribals as well as farmers in a bid to make a dent in the Congress citadel.
He announced that his government will provide Rs 1,000 monthly assistance to each Saharia tribal family in the two seats for tackling malnutrition. The Saharia tribes dominate in Kolaras and Mungaoli.
BJP leaders had also accused Congress leader and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia of not doing enough in the two constituencies. Both Kolaras and Mungaoli come under Guna Lok Sabha constituency, Scindia’s traditional stronghold.
Interestingly, Scindia had managed to retain his seat even during the Narendra Modi wave in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections which saw the BJP winning 26 out of the 29 seats. The other constituencies where the Congress managed to win in 2014 are Chhindwara (Kamal Nath) and Ratlam (ST) (Kantilal Bhuria).
Scindia, a close confidant of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has been working in his home state for the last several years hoping to become its chief minister. Both the Assembly seats come under his Lok Sabha constituency and the wins have boosted his chances.
(With ANI inputs)