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Assembly elections 2018: Will Modi take responsibility if three Vajpayee-era CMs fail to deliver?

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New Delhi, Dec 11: The early trends of the results in three states of the Hindi heartland were not encouraging for the BJP as a clear dominance by the ruling party was missing. While the Congress was having a clear lead in Rajasthan, it was neck and neck in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh with the saffron party's tally showing a slide compared to 2013.

Assembly elections 2018: Will Modi take responsibility if three Vajpayee-era cms fail to deliver?

If these three states reject the BJP this time, it will not be a happy day in office for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will be seeking his second straight term in office next year. And the PM perhaps knows this and the strategy for the elections in these three states were devised accordingly.

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Even though he addressed huge rallies in these states since he is the party's poster boy, they were yet lesser compared to the intensity he had shown in many states earlier, including his home state Gujarat and Karnataka, which then was the Congress's final big state.

One of the reasons could be all the three chief ministers who have gone to these elections from the Hindi heartland are incumbents appointed in the era of Atal Behari Vajpayee or in the BJP 1.0 time. Modi, who also was a chief minister when Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh and Vasundhara Raje first took over as the CMs of MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, respectively, will certainly not be willing to share the anti-incumbency baggage of these leaders who have been in business before he took over as the prime minister.

That these elections still had a Vajpayee connection could be seen from a lot of posters that had the late prime minister's photographs on them and that the local leaders were placed in the fore was evident from the fact that the pictures of the Shivraj Singhs, Raman Singhs and Rajes photographs were larger than that of Modi. It was not the case with states like Bihar where Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had led from the front even though they lost.

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The BJP top brass would expect the people to believe that an adverse result in the three Hindi heartland states was related more to the failure of the local leaders and not Modi. But given the fact that the PM gets all the accolades whenever the BJP wins, can he completely ignore the accountability that comes with a probable failure?

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