The BJP’s resounding triumph in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections signifies a significant setback for two seasoned Congress leaders and former Chief Ministers, Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh. Both played crucial roles in the campaign, with Kamal Nath leading from the forefront and Digvijaya Singh guiding the cadre from behind the scenes.

In 2003, after two terms of Digvijaya Singh, the Congress lost Madhya Pradesh to the BJP and succeeded in reclaiming power after a 15-year hiatus in 2018. Despite falling short of a majority by a few seats, the Congress formed a government, led by Kamal Nath. However, the defection of Jyotiraditya Scindia and his loyalist MLAs led to the downfall of the Congress government in March 2020, allowing the BJP to return to power.

Following this setback in 2020, Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh revitalized the demoralized party cadre by winning the mayoral election last year. They entered the assembly election with confidence, but their aspirations were dashed, marking a potential conclusion to their extensive political careers.

By the upcoming 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 fiercely contested against the BJP’s multi-layered cadres in Madhya Pradesh.

Over the past couple of years, the Congress state unit has undergone significant transformations, particularly at the grassroots level. The party had high expectations of victory in this election, given these changes.

The defeat also marks a significant moment for Kamal Nath, who experienced a massive loss in his long political career for the first time. During the campaign, he frequently asserted, “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, despite the strong wave in favor of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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