By-poll results: Modi government’s ‘honeymoon period’ is over, says Congress
New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday termed the results of
Assembly bypolls, in which BJP suffered major reverses, as ‘good omen’ for the secular
forces and said it should ring alarm bells in the saffron party as people have
rejected the ‘politics of polarisation.’
Saying that “Modi’s honeymoon period with the people
was over”, party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed sought to portray the verdict in
Uttar Pradesh, where BJP could win only three of 11 assembly seats while rest
going to SP, as “the vote against BJP more than in favour of any party.”
He, at the same time, acknowledged that Congress could
not perform as per its expectations in the Hindi state by not winning a single
seat, but reminded that in the Lok Sabha elections too, it had won only in two
of the 80 Parliamentary constituencies.
Ahmed claimed that anti-incumbency factor has set in
within 100 days of Modi government coming to power. “People did not like the
attitude of BJP and Modi government. While the Prime Minister himself kept
silent, BJP leaders and ministers in the Modi government played the politics of
polarisation with their statements. People of Uttar Pradesh have rejected BJP’s
politics of hate mongering.
“This is perhaps first government, whose
anti-incumbency had begun within 100 days of coming to power...Alarm bells are
ringing for the BJP. This is a good omen for secular forces that people have
started rejecting them,” Ahmed said.
He, however, noted that Congress' gains in Gujarat and
Rajasthan were significant as in the Lok Sabha polls it had drawn a blank in
both states. Terming the results as a “morale booster” for Congress, Ahmed, who
is AICC general secretary in-charge for poll bound Haryana said, “Now we will
try to improve our performance.”
Turning to Uttar Pradesh, the Congress spokesman
alleged that ‘full authority’ had been given to people who were responsible for
inciting riots in the state. “Leave aside caste, creed and religion, these
communal forces were acting as triggers to incite fight between husband and
wife,” he said, in an obvious reference to BJP raking up the issue of ‘Love
Jihad’, the alleged forcible conversion of Hindu girls through marriage.
Ahmed alleged that the BJP wanted to pit communities
against each other under a well-planned conspiracy and had they succeeded, this
could have led to race among others to try the method to gain power.
Reeling out figures, the Congress spokesperson said
ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, bypolls have been held in
54 Assembly constituencies. Of these BJP had lead in 42, but it now has come
down to 21.
“Not only this, the 33 seats on which elections
results were declared today, the BJP has lost on 13 of the 26 seats it had won.
They have in half of these seats...It indicates Modi (government's) honeymoon
period with people was getting over.
“Through the results, people have made clear that they
do not agree with the policies of this government,” he said. Ahmed, at the same
time, sounded a word of caution saying the elections have been held this time
on only a few seats and hence “it cannot be said that the BJP is finished.”
The Congress reaction came on a day when the BJP was
dealt a major blow in the Assembly by-elections in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and
Gujarat, which it had swept in the Lok Sabha polls four months ago.
Buoyed by the bypoll verdict, Congress today had a dig
at Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that within 100 days of his rule, people
have started voting for a ‘Modi-free India.’
Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi also said on
Twitter that BJP chief Amit Shah may have to apply for a new job in the party
in the wake of the electoral reverses.