Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has been asked to resign as state Congress chief following the party's massive defeat in the recently concluded state elections, sources said. He has been asked to resign by the party high command, she added.
The BJP scored a massive victory in Madhya Pradesh despite exit polls predicting a tight race, with some even giving the Congress a chance to oust the BJP from a state it has dominated since 2003.
The Congress, riding on its recent victory in Karnataka, was also confident of taking over the state from the BJP, which came to power in the state in 2020 after Congress veteran Jyotiradtya Scindia led a shock uprising and joined with his loyal MLAs the BJP had joined. , which led to the collapse of Kamal Nath's government.
The Congress was so confident of their victory that posters congratulating Kamal Nath on his appointment as Madhya Pradesh chief minister were spotted outside the party office in Bhopal shortly before the counting of votes for the 2023 Assembly elections began on Sunday.
“Congratulations to Honorable Kamal Nath on his appointment as Chief Minister,” the posters read. Senior party leaders also posted congratulatory tweets on X ahead of the counting of votes.
By the end of the count, however, the party was stunned by the final tally.
Figures from the Election Commission of India showed that the BJP had won 163 seats, more than double that of the Congress: 66.
As per the final tally, the BJP registered a staggering gain of 57 seats while the Congress registered an equally staggering loss of 52 seats compared to the 2018 elections. However, Kamal Nath managed to retain his Chhindwara seat.
Kamal Nath, who led the Congress campaign in the state, took responsibility for the party's dismal performance in the state. Reacting to the defeat, Nath said they would “investigate why we could not communicate with the voters”.
Data showed that the Congress fell prey to the BJP in the communications battle, much before the elections were held. It had held fewer protests and lagged far behind the BJP in the number of rallies and public gatherings.
The BJP, led by its top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, had held 634 rallies while the Congress held 350.
The BJP has been in power in the central state since 2003, except for a lull between December 2018 and March 2020, when the state had a Congress government led by Kamal Nath.