Photo: Ranjan Basu/Saab Press
The election in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan were dubbed the semi-final, ahead of the October 2004 general election. The Congress held power in Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. Only Mizoram boasted a Bharatiya Janata Party ally, the Mizo National Front.
Going into the election, pundits predicted that except Madhya Pradesh, the Congress would win. They were right, and terribly wrong. Delhi and Mizoram retained the incumbents: Sheila Dixit of the Congress and Zoramthanga of the Mizo National Front.
But the BJP drubbed the Congress, throwing up new leaders in the bargain: Uma Bharti in Madhya Pradesh and Vasundhara Raje Scindia in Rajasthan. In Chhattisgarh, Dilip Singh Judeo led the BJP charge, but since he is accused of accepting bribes, Ramon Singh was anointed chief minister.
Flush with victory and with the Congress in a shambles, some BJP leaders wants the general election held in early 2004.
Text: A K Diwanji
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