As the BJP scored a landslide victory in Madhya Pradesh, bucking an anti-incumbency of close to two decades, former chief minister and the Congress state supremo Kamal Nath on Sunday that he accepts the people’s mandate in this “democratic contest” and his party will fulfil the responsibility of the Opposition.
“We accept the mandate of Madhya Pradesh’s voters in this democratic contest. We will fulfil the role of the Opposition,” Kamal Nath told reporters at a press conference on Sunday as the final stages of counting put the BJP in a decisive lead.
On the challenges that lie before the Congress as the principal Opposition party in the state, the former CM said, “The biggest challenge in front of us today is the future of the youth, unemployment and farm distress. Agriculture forms 70 per cent of our state’s economy. We want to prioritise the strengths of the agriculture sector. “
Congratulating the BJP for its victory, Kamal Nath said, “I congratulate the Bharatiya Janata Party and hope they will fulfil the responsibilities of the people who have given them this mandate.”
The Congress, which won the 2018 Assembly elections, lost power after its government was reduced to a minority following a rebellion by then-party stalwart Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Mr Scindia eventually switched over to the BJP along with his loyalist MLAs.
On the party missing out on a ‘second chance’ to take the hustings in Madhya Pradesh, the former Chief Minister said, “This was our second chance. I have always said that I believe in the voters in Madhya Pradesh. I do that even today. I hope that the BJP will live up to the belief and trust that the voters have reposed in them,” Kamal Nath said.
On where the party lost the elections that many pollsters predicted they would win, the former chief minister said, “We will discuss on our shortcomings with our candidates.”
“I accept the decision of the people of Madhya Pradesh in the election results. We have been given the responsibility to sit in the opposition and we will discharge our responsibility. The biggest question facing Madhya Pradesh right now is that the future of the youth of Madhya Pradesh should be secure and our farmers should get prosperity. I congratulate the Bharatiya Janata Party. I hope that they will try to live up to the trust that the public has shown in him,” he posted from his official X handle.
“You all must remember that I never announced the seats. I always said that I have faith in the voters of Madhya Pradesh and even today I will say that I have faith in the voters of Madhya Pradesh. I will review with all the defeated candidates and winning MLAs what was the reason why we could not explain our point to the voters of Madhya Pradesh,” he added.
Madhya Pradesh has been a BJP stronghold for the last twenty years, barring the 15-month tenure of the Kamal Nath-led government when Congress came to power in 2018.
Consciously deciding not to come out with a chief ministerial face, the BJP fought the polls under a largely collective leadership while the Congress projected Kamal Nath as its CM candidate.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)