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Kamal Nath Asked To Quit Madhya Pradesh Congress Chief Post: Sources

Kamal Nath won from his Chhindwara constituency (File)

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath has been asked to resign as the state Congress chief after the party’s massive defeat in the recently concluded state elections, sources said. He has been asked by the party high-command to hand in his resignation, they added.

The BJP claimed a mammoth victory in Madhya Pradesh despite exit polls predicting a tight race, with some even giving the Congress an off chance at ousting the BJP from a state it has dominated since 2003.

The Congress, too, riding on its recent Karnataka win, was confident that it would scoop the state from the BJP, which came to power in the state in 2020 after Congress veteran Jyotiradtya Scindia led a shock rebellion and joined the BJP with his loyal MLAs, leading to the collapse of the Kamal Nath government.

The Congress was so sure of their win that posters congratulating Kamal Nath on becoming the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh were spotted outside the party’s office in Bhopal shortly before the counting of votes for the 2023 Assembly election began on Sunday.

“Congratulations to the honourable Kamal Nath for becoming Chief Minister,” the posters read. Senior party leaders also posted congratulatory tweets on X ahead of the counting of votes.

However, by the end of the counting, the party was stunned by the final tally. 

Numbers put out by the Election Commission of India showed the BJP had won 163 seats, more than double that of the Congress – 66.

According to the final tally, the BJP logged a staggering gain of 57 seats while the Congress registered an equally staggering loss of 52 compared to the 2018 elections. Kamal Nath however 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, Mr Nath said they would “look into why we couldn’t communicate with the voters”.

Data showed the Congress fell to the BJP in the communications battle long before the election was held. It had conducted fewer protests and lagged far behind the BJP in the number of rallies and public meetings.

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 break between December 2018 and March 2020 when the state had a Congress government under Kamal Nath.

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