The outcome will have implications for the morale and internal power equations in both parties.
With Rajasthan heading to Assembly elections in a few months, this showing is being touted as a referendum against the BJP's rule and a precursor of things to come.
Kewal Singh Pathania, a spokesman for the Congress told UNI that the victory of the Congress candidate, Vivek Dhakad from the Mandalgarh Assembly seat by defeating BJP's Shakti Singh Hada, with a margin of more than 13,000 votes was laudable. The scale of the losses shows that there was nearly a wave against her government. This will also bolster the Congress's claim on leadership of the Opposition ranks.
The Gujarati asmitha that helped BJP in the second phase of the Gujarat polls will not be a factor in Rajasthan. "People are talking about anti-incumbency", said a senior BJP leader. This has helped her survive. Even Congress bosses had not anticipated such a turnaround in the electorates' "sentiments" in the party's favour. Then, when the interviewer turned to Sharma, the Congress candidate bent his back again to touch Pilot's feet on live TV. The Congress has sketched a strategy to corner Raje government on all fronts including BJP's debacle in Ajmer, Alwar and Mandalgarh bypolls which its termed a mandate against the policies of the government. In Mandalgarh, the Congress candidate won with almost 13,000 more votes than their BJP counterpart. Karan Singh (INC) - 226592 and Jaswant Yadav (BJP) -178304, Nota - 6173. It must be remembered that Alwar has been the epicenter of several attacks on Muslims by cow vigilantes, such as the lynching of Pehlu Khan previous year. In Rajasthan, the Congress has rebuilt its organization and its state leaders like Sachin Pilot and Ashok Gehlot enjoy greater credibility among cadre and masses.
While the Congress steered clear of defending free speech, the BJP failed to rein in the Rajput Karni Sena, the fringe group that has led a violent agitation against the movie. This verdict will strengthen Pilot's hands. Taking to Twitter, Gandhi said he was proud of each of the partymen in the state, now under the BJP's rule.
In Mandalgarh Assembly constituency, the Congress won by almost 13,000 votes while its candidate in Alwar LS constituency recorded a victory by more than 1.56 lakh votes. It should worry the BJP because this is an early sign that repeating its sw- eep of north and west India may not be possible. If this swing is replicated in the Vidhan Sabha elections, BJP's tally in Rajasthan could fall by over 100 seats.
If the current trends hold, Modi and Shah will have to prepare for a dip in those numbers.
The Congress president took to Twitter to congratulate his partymen, saying that he was proud of each one of them. He led a good campaign in Gujarat, where the victor seemed like the vanquished and the vanquished had a sense of jubilation.