The BJP’s decisive victory in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections is a significant setback for two seasoned Congress leaders and former Chief Ministers, Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh. Kamal Nath took a front-facing role in the campaign, while Digvijaya Singh guided the cadre behind the scenes.

The Congress had previously lost Madhya Pradesh to the BJP in 2003, concluding two terms of Digvijaya Singh’s leadership. Despite this setback, the Congress made a comeback after a 15-year gap in 2018. Although falling a few seats short of a majority, they formed a government led by Kamal Nath. However, the defection of Jyotiraditya Scindia and his loyalist MLAs resulted in the collapse of the Congress government, paving the way for the BJP’s return to power in March 2020.

Following this setback in 2020, the two senior Congress politicians revitalized the party cadre by winning the mayoral election last year. They were confident of success in the assembly election, but their hopes were dashed, signaling a potential end to their lengthy political careers.

By the next Assembly election, both Congress veterans will be over 80 years old. This substantial defeat is likely to dent the confidence of Congress workers on the ground, who fought valiantly against the BJP’s multi-layered cadres in Madhya Pradesh.

In recent years, the Congress state unit has undergone significant changes, particularly at the grassroots level, raising expectations of victory in this election.

This marked the first time Kamal Nath faced such a massive defeat in his extensive political career. Throughout the poll campaign, he frequently emphasized, “I have contested several elections in my 40-year political career, and I have won all of them.”

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, despite the BJP winning 28 out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath managed to secure victory in Chhindwara for his son Nakul Nath, defying the strong wave in favor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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