Shivraj Singh Chouhan's pursuit to be the longest ever serving Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is on course, as BJP swept into power for the third running with an overwhelming win that was all but confirmed within the evening hours as it steadily gathered victories and built up its impressive lead.
The tally at the end of the counting was as follows: BJP: 165; Congress: 58; BSP: 4; Independents: 3.
BJP's thunderous show in the Assembly elections is sure to send shock waves through the Congress camp ahead of the General Elections in 2014.
Congress could offer a fight only in Chhattisgarh. BJP's lead was clean and extensive over Congress in both Rajasthan and Delhi.
It was one of Congress' worst performances in any elections, state or centre, and it remains to be seen how Sonia and Rahul Gandhi go about to deliver their word for reform and if Congress can rally from these defeats of humiliating proportions in the build-up to the General Elections next year.
Expectedly, Congress while conceding defeat denied Modi's influence having a substantial effect on the Assembly polls. Various leaders from its ranks defied despondency and bravely voiced their opinion that the General Elections wiill be another matter altogether.
On the other hand, the mood in the BJP camp was one of elation. That the party could inflict such bold losses to the Congress party bodes well for the challenger in the national elections and its leaders spared no quarter in their claims to having political momentum ahead of 2014. They were, to say the least, effusive in their praise of Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, whom they said played a significant role in the campaigns that led to these victories.
Once a Congress stronghold, MP has voted in BJP for the third time running. The Congress lost power in 2003 and has found it increasingly difficult to challenge the BJP under Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister for the last eight years. That, despite strong rhetoric from Congress leaders Digvijaya Singh and Ajay Singh predicting a strong performance by their party.
On the other hand, BJP has fulfilled the predictions of numerous surveys and exit polls that suggested BJP would retain authority in the state.
MP recorded a high voter turnout of over 70% this time round.
An incident of violence came on