Senior Congress leaders Kamal Nath, Bhupesh Baghel and Ashok Gehlot are facing widespread condemnation as they blamed the soft Hindutva ideology pursued by these politicians for the defeat of the party in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
Most exit poll surveys had predicted a comfortable win for the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The party had won these two states in 2018. However, the BJP defied every single prediction to wrest power from the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
Likewise, Madhya Pradesh was expected to see the defeat for the Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s government due to years of anti-incumbency but the BJP registered a landslide here, paving the way for it to form a government the fifth time in a row. Kamal Nath of the Congress was aiming to become the state’s chief minister for the second time.
The dominating theme of the social media conversation was that the Congress lost these three key states in the Hindi heartland due to the soft Hindutva ideology followed by its regional leaders in these three states.
Kamal Nath had sought blessing from a controversial Hindu guru, Dhirendra Krishna Shastri, who is also known as Bageshwar Dham Maharaj. Shastri is known for his hate speech against India’s Muslim community. Both Kamal Nath and his son, Nakul Kamal Nath, had faced criticism from netizens for pursuing the Hindutva ideology in their bid to woo the state’s Hindu voters.
Kamal Nath was so determined to woo Hindu voters that he even defied his party leadership to invite controversial Times Now anchor Navika Kumar for a private jet ride during the election campaign. Kumar was among the 14 pro-Hindutva TV anchors that the Congress had announced to boycott in the future.
Rajasthan’s Ashok Gehlot government and Chhattisgarh’s Bhupesh Baghel administration too had to face routine criticism for turning a blind eye to atrocities against the minorities when they served the states as chief ministers. Baghel, in particular, had even chosen to fund the TV channel owned by known Islamophobe, Suresh Chavanke, who is notorious for running a hate agenda against India’s Muslim community on his TV channel, Sudarshan TV.
Here’s how the netizen reacted;
Both Kamalnath and #BhupeshBaghel tried Hindutva posturing so people just chose the original.
— Saba Naqvi (@_sabanaqvi) December 3, 2023
Kamal Nath, Baghel and Gehlot- all had promoted soft hindutva.
— गुरू (@make_itpossible) December 3, 2023
Congress’ Ashok Gehlot in Rajasthan & Bhupesh Baghel in Chhattisgarh tried their best to fit in the Hindutva lobby, & be accepted by Hindus, did nothing to prevent lynchings & to stop cow vigilants, but yet failed and getting humiliating defeat.
— Abu Zaid Sarooji 🇵🇸 (@Sarooji_) December 3, 2023
Today’s election results show two things;
1. Congress has been punished for not pursuing its muhabbat ki dukaan ideology in Hindi heartland. I warned @RahulGandhi about consequences of adopting Hindutva light agenda by Kamal Nath and his sons in MP.
2. I said it in 2017 (1/2)
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) December 3, 2023
Kamal Nath tried hard to play Hindutva card. Met Bageswar Dham baba, organised rallies. He thought he would beat BJP in playing saffron card. Well deserved loss for Congress in MP 👏🏾 pic.twitter.com/CMsVjSkxV3
— Nadim. (@nadimspeaks) December 3, 2023
Madhya Pradesh shows that the Congress can never play Hindutva as well as the Original. They shld have retired both Kamal and Kamal Nath long, long ago.
— pamela philipose (@pamelaphilipose) December 3, 2023
Its good that a Kamal Nath led team lost. All that deadwood and their soft hindutva must go away.
Guarantee schemes won’t help you win in the north. Secularism and Social Justice is the way to go. https://t.co/ZWjBxhcMYz
— ವಿನಯ್ ಕೂರಗಾಯಲ ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ Vinay K S (@vinaysreeni) December 3, 2023