With the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) losing in the heartland states after the results of five states were announced, the Opposition unitedly took on the saffron party and reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi that people have voted against the party's "negative politics".
Congress president Rahul Gandhi emerged as the tallest leader after his party won Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and staked claim to form a government in Madhya Pradesh as well. Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party and Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party have offered their support to the Congress to form a government in Madhya Pradesh.
Soon after the results were almost clear on Tuesday, Gandhi said that theassembly poll outcome is a "clear message" to the Modi government that people are not happy with it and time has come for a change, while asserting his party will also win in 2019.
Gandhi also said that Modi got a massive mandate but refused to listen to the "heartbeat of the country". He said that in this election Modi had taught him a lesson of "what not to do", and added that the Congress party's drubbing in the 2014 Lok Sabha election also taught him two things — humility, and to listen to what the people think and feel.
He also said that his party would fight the BJP ideology but would not get rid of anyone from the country. Gandhi said the Congress would work jointly with like-minded opposition parties having similar ideologies and work out alliances to defeat the BJP in the country in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday described the party's good showing in the assembly poll in three Hindi heartland states as a victory over the BJP's "negative politics".
Other opposition leaders also reacted to the BJP's drubbing in the states.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said that the people have recognised that BJP has done nothing in the last five years and are moving towards an alternative.
He was quoted as saying by ANI, "People are with us in our fight against BJP. These five state results will help form a strong alternative to the BJP."
The Congress-TDP 'People's Front' also lost a lot ground in Telangana with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) winning the state by a landslide.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the people have voted against the BJP. She also said that the semifinal proves that BJP is nowhere in all the states and it is a "real democratic indication of 2019 final match".
Semifinal proves that BJP is nowhere in all the states. This is a real democratic indication of 2019 final match. Ultimately, people are always the 'man of the match' of democracy. My congrats to the winners 3/3
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) December 11, 2018
Mayawati has said that the BSP does not agree with Congress' philosophy, but still extended support to it in order to "keep BJP out of power".
The BSP chief said that people voted for the Congress as they found it to be an alternative to the BJP.
The countdown of the Modi-led government's fall has begun, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday. He tweeted:
The results of the Assembly polls were a "slap" on the face of the "tyrant" BJP, MNS chief Raj Thackeray said on Tuesday, and asserted that the country needed "Ram rajya" and not a Ram temple.
Talking to reporters, Thackeray also said that although the BJP was calling Rahul Gandhi "pappu", the Congress chief has become "param pujya" (highly revered) with his party's good showing in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Navjot Singh Sidhu
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu hailed Gandhi as the "man of the series" and alleged the loss of the BJP has "exposed the mask of falsehood of the saffron party".
"The anger of the people has come out. Tall and false promises were made to them and those promises were not kept, whether on issue of farmers, housing for the poor or bringing back black money stashed abroad or even skill development," Sidhu was quoted as saying by PTI.
(With PTI inputs)