State polls: Congress win or opposition loss?
The ruling Congress party-led alliance has won state polls in Maharashtra and Arunachal Pradesh and is set to form the government in Haryana.
The state poll results come at a time when a resurgent Congress, fresh from a victory at the centre, has begun to find footing as the single largest party.
However, analysts debating the outcome reflect more on the decline of the right-wing Hindu ideologue and a fractured opposition than a clear victory for the Congress.
The BJP has been struggling for some time to find an identity that would directly translate into votes. The BJP-Shiv Sena combine in Maharashtra failed to take advantage of the anti-incumbency factor.
Political pundits say it’s another example of the party’s failure to introspect post the Lok Sabha election.
Time alone will tell whether the ‘Marathi pride’ poll plank of Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena will help it strengthen as a mainstream party.
For now, the Congress-NCP coalition is set to come back on a promise of reforms and loan waivers for farmers.
In Haryana, the Congress fell short of the halfway mark, winning only 40 of 90 seats.
The results in the northern state have to some extent dampened celebrations for the Congress, which swept the polls in Arunachal Pradesh.
Poll experts say election results have put the Congress in a better place to implement reforms.
At the same time, this is also a clear call for the opposition to unite and find common ground in the months to come if they hope to stay in the running.