Cameraperson: Abhishek Ranjan
Video Editor: Mohammad Ibrahim
Despite making gains in state elections in Gujarat in 2017 and forming government in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in 2018, why do exit polls show the Congress is lagging behind in the same states?
One reason is how people tend to vote differently for state and Lok Sabha elections and if these exit polls are to be believed, then while people voted, they took the presidential route – that is, they voted for Narendra Modi. It shows that the loss of the BJP in the state elections could not hurt the image of Narendra Modi. This was also corroborated in the CVoter surveys where people told the surveyors that while they will vote for Congress in the state polls, they'll vote for Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Caveat attached, yes, these are only exit polls and we will know results for certain only on 23 May.
Therefore, despite knowing that the prime minister would make this a race against himself, a presidential election, the Congress failed to tackle it.
Secondly, when the Congress formed government in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, in-fighting regarding who the chief minister would be came to the fore. This displayed a certain distrust, hinting at the fact that the transition of power was not smooth.
Congress showed its inability to communicate its schemes on the ground and build a strong and viable alternative against the BJP. The Congress failed to understand the insurmountable challenge that PM Modi was.
All this compounded by the Pulwama-Balakot event only added to PM Modi's chances of being elected the prime minister again.
While in Chhattisgarh where the Congress formed government in 2018 the party seems to have done a little better compared to the other states according to the exit polls, there was a lot more that could have been done in the other states.