“Wind Behind The Sails Of Congress”: P Chidambaram On Bypoll Results


P Chidambaram said for the first time, “We have drawn level with the BJP”.

New Delhi:

The bypoll results that came in yesterday – encompassing a surprise victory for the Congress gives hope and the need now is to focus on the coming rounds of state elections, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram has told NDTV. Asked if the party had drawn ahead of the BJP, he said, “We have drawn abreast of the BJP and the next round of elections in 5 states gives us a chance to draw ahead”.

This round of elections has shown that when Congress wins, “it wins by a thumping margin, when it loses it loses by a small margin,” the former Union Minister said, adding, “I think there is wind behind the sails of the Congress”.  

The minster cited data on this. In Himachal Pradesh,  the voteshare of the Congress was 48.9 per cent and the BJP 28 per cent. In the Maharashtra, the figures were 57.03 per cent and 35.06 per cent, in Rajasthan, it was 37.51 per cent and 18.8 per cent.

In contrast, in Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP won, the party got 47.58 per cent votes and the Congress 45.45 per cent votes. In Karnataka, the gap was 7 per cent and in Meghalaya, it was 2 per cent in favor of the Congress.

The Congress swept Himachal Pradesh yesterday, winning all three assembly seats and the Lok Sabha seat of Mandi, both assembly seats in Rajasthan, one in Madhya Pradesh, one in Maharashtra and wrested a seat in Karnataka from the BJP.  

“Out of the 30 assembly seats, the BJP won 7, its allies won 8.  The Congress won 8, one more than the BJP and the other non-BJP parties have six. So, for the first time, I think we have drawn level with the BJP despite their enormous money power, misuse of authority etc,” Mr Chidambaram said.  

Mr Chidambaram also said the wait now is for the next rounds of the state elections. Five states go to polls early next year and a few at the end of the year. Altogether, 10 state elections ae due in the next two years.  “Within these states, if some regional party beats the BJP, then you will find the momentum for a united opposition,” he said.