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Congress-Mukt Bharat seems a distant dream


New Delhi, Dec 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pledge of Congress-Mukt Bharat is likely to deter as Congress appears to have made a comeback in the Assembly elections.

Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi

Voters have clearly rejected the BJP in what was an indication of things to come in 2019, Congress leaders as trends showed the party ahead in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan and locked in a tantalising, see-saw battle in Madhya Pradesh. The party is likely to get an absolute majority in Chhattisgarh and is reaching the simple majority mark in Rajasthan while going neck-and-neck in Madhya Pradesh

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Congress-Mukt Bharat was Modi's election slogan during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign.

In 2014, when the Narendra Modi government came to power in Delhi, the BJP ruled just seven states. Over 67 per cent of MPs who entered Lok Sabha that year belong to the 21 states where the BJP now holds or shares power. In 2014, the Congress was in power in 13 states. It is now down to four - Punjab, Karnataka, Mizoram, and Puducherry.

In 2003, the Congress lost Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, but went on to win sufficient numbers in the 2004 Parliament elections to head the government at the Centre. In 2008, it lost in MP and Chhattisgarh again, but won in Rajasthan. Congress-led UPA won the 2009 general elections. In 2013, BJP won in the assembly elections and in the 2014 general elections.

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Narendra Modi has led the saffron party to major state election victories, thereby, expanding the party's base. For the BJP, the back-to-back victory is a reaffirmation of Narendra Modi's 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign slogan of Congress-free India.

The government's image has been hit with the infighting within the CBI and a fight with the RBI. Along with the experience last year of four senior judges of the Supreme Court holding a press conference saying that democracy is in danger, the picture that emerges is one of institutions weakening under the present government.

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