With trends that emerged till Tuesday evening showing Congress leading in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and a neck-and-neck fight in Madhya Pradesh, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakade said the party focused more on Ram temple, name changing rather that development.
Kakade claimed BJP’s loss in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh was expected but Madhya Pradesh trends have come as a surprise.
“I knew we would lose in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh but MP trends have come as a surprise. I think we forgot the issue of development that Modi took up in 2014. Ram Mandir, statues and name changing became the focus,” he told news agency ANI.
Kakade was referring to the renewed push for the construction of Ram Temple by right-wing groups including the RSS and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
Sanjay Kakade, a Pune-based builder, also asked the party to introspect over the poll performance.
"I am of the opinion that the BJP should stick to development agenda and not to caste (mobilisation), changing names of cities or a (Ram) temple. We need to revert to the track of development," Kakade said.
"What the BJP has been doing so far is Mandir-Masjid, changing names of cities, caste politics. Even if we win MP with a slender margin, I will call it our defeat," he added.
Kakade, 51, also asked BJP to introspect after the setback in the Assembly elections.
"Despite having (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi, (BJP chief) Amit Shah (as star campaigners) and a strong network of RSS in Madhya Pradesh, if the performance is negative it means
some introspection is required," said the Rajya Sabha member.
"There are 65 MPs from these states, of which 62 are of BJP and three are of Congress. We need to take it (results) seriously," he said.
As counting is underway, Congress has won 102 seats in Rajasthan.
Congress Committee Chief Sachin Pilot has won the Tonk assembly constituency, defeating BJP's only Muslim candidate in the state and Transport Minister Yoonus Khan.
It was the first assembly elections for 41-year old Pilot, a two-time Member of Parliament, and he defeated Khan with a margin of 54,179 votes on the Muslim-dominated seat.
So far, the Congress and the BJP have won six seats each, while the BSP has bagged three. Also, one independent and one other party candidate have won.
(For latest news & live updates on Assembly election results in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram, visit https://www.outlookindia.com/)
(With inputs from agencies)