State Congress leaders bask in glory, while BJP politicos worry about 2019 elections

Updated: 19 December, 2017 13:41 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

As results from Gujarat trickled in on Monday, the Maharashtra BJP leaders' body language spoke more profoundly than the intermittent words they uttered

As results from Gujarat trickled in on Monday, the Maharashtra BJP leaders' body language spoke more profoundly than the intermittent words they uttered. Legislators and ministers were taken by surprise when it became clear that the party hasn't performed as expected in the neighbouring state. Their imminent concern then became securing their own fate in the 2019 Maharashtra Assembly polls.

Representation pic
Representation pic

Several BJP legislators told mid-day that though they had to appear happy for the sake of the occasion, they were worried about what was in store for them. "To be frank with you, my inner feeling is different. I'm dejected and really worried about my future," said a BJP MLA who represents a rural constituency in Vidarbha. He said many others shared the same sentiment because the rural population was very demanding.

Similar unrest in Maha
"Look what happened in rural Gujarat, where BJP lagged behind the Congress. A similar unrest is simmering in Maharashtra. We need to tackle this as early as possible," said the MLA. On the other hand, the ongoing legislative assembly in Nagpur had increasing number of Congressmen basking in glory, despite their party falling short of numbers to make a government in Gujarat. They couldn't resist taking pot shots at their BJP counterparts.

"It doesn't matter to us even if we don't make a government in Gujarat. The people of Gujarat have supported us in beating unbearable arrogance of BJP and they have showed that Modi wave does not exist any longer. I'm confident we will be able to come back to power in Maharashtra," said Vijay Wadettiwar, deputy leader of Congress legislative party.

BJP's moral defeat
Wadettiwar said the people have exposed BJP's fake model of development. "The situation here is no different. People are fed up and we need to tap that anti-government sentiment. And we're sure that the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress will topple BJP in 2019," he said.

A buoyed state Congress president Ashok Chavan said the Gujarat results were BJP's moral defeat. "Our show under Rahul Gandhi has enthused us. BJP's dirty tricks did not work. We are happy that we have won 20 seats more than the previous poll," he said.

As for the 2019 state polls, will Congress and NCP come together yet again? If Ajit Pawar of NCP is to believed, then the two parties have almost decided to work through differences.

"Rahul Gandhi's performance and maturity has given us a new hope. Though I'm an NCP worker, I have no hesitation is saying that the Congress has raised our morale by leaps and bounds. I see a strong possibility of us getting together to fight BJP," he said. Interestingly, Congress accused NCP of causing the defeat of 10 its candidates in Gujarat.

If Congress and NCP get together, can BJP and Sena end their love-hate relationship? "We may have lost all seats in Gujarat, but the anti-BJP feeling that voters showed has given us some more teeth to bite the BJP. We're not going to be dictated by the BJP anymore," said a senior Sena minister.

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First Published: 19 December, 2017 13:27 IST

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