UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had a simple response when asked about the Congress performance in the recent assembly elections, results for which were announced on Wednesday. When asked about the party's first significant wins directly against the BJP for a number of years, the former Congress president said, "I am happy".
Speaking to reporters in Parliament, Sonia Gandhi only added "It's a win against the BJP's negative politics".
Following the election verdicts in the five states, the Congress party is now in a position to form governments in three of them, namely in Chhattisgarh where it has recorded a stunning majority removing the BJP from power after well over a decade, in Madhya Pradesh where with a little support it is all set to end Shivraj Singh Chouhan's 15-year reign as Chief Minister, and in Rajasthan, where Vasundhara Raje and the BJP have been similarly deposed.
The only question remaining now is whether it will be Jyotiraditya Scindia or Kamal Nath who will be CM in Madhya Pradesh and Sachin Pilot or Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan.
However, the Congress failed to perform in the only state where Sonia Gandhi personally campaigned -- in Telangana where she addressed a poll rally positioning herself as a motherly figure for the new state and crediting herself, former PM Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi for taking the difficult decision to carve it out of Andhra Pradesh. In Telangana, the Congress-TDP 'Maha Katumi' alliance was trounced by KCR's TRS who will be returning as Chief Minister with an impressive mandate. And in Mizoram, the Congress was reduced from being the ruling party to single-digits.
On Tuesday, after the results had become more or less clear, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed the media and criticised the BJP and the Prime Minister.
He told the media how people are unhappy with Modi government by citing economic destabilisation and lack of employment opportunities under the BJP government. He had the following message for 2019:
"I think I have been saying it for some time now, with the resurgent Congress party in the states, and in the states where BJP is ruling and the combined opposition, it is going to become very difficult for the Prime Minister and BJP to win the elections. That is pretty clear. This is the clear message for the PM that the country is not happy with what they are doing, they are not happy with demonetisation, they are not happy with the lack of jobs."
“There was mismanagement of the economy, causing unnecessary damage to the sections of the economy that were actually doing well. Badly implemented GST, demonetisation which was disastrous. Now RBI Governor has resigned, former governors of RBI are commenting on the issue. Broadly the Congress party and Opposition are going to attempt that Mr. Modi sold a vision to this country five years ago and the country had the patience to listen to that vision and give him five years to carry out that vision. Mr. Modi and BJP have failed to provide a vision to go forward.”