'There was a lot of resentment against the BJP which has not translated into votes, this is surprising.'
In spite of anti-incumbency, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan could defend his turf and gave the Congress a very good fight, says Dr A P S Chouhan, professor of political science at Gwalior's Jiwaji University.
"There was no impact of Mr Modi, Mr Amit Shah and Mr Yogi. Most of the time they were giving negative speeches and indulging in Hindu-Muslim politics. They did not speak of policies," says Professor Chouhan as he assesses the Madhya Pradesh results with Rediff.com's Archana Masih.
The result in MP is a cliff hanger. What is the reason for this?
In spite of anti-incumbency Shivraj Singh Chouhan could defend his turf. He has given a very good fight. I would like to congratulate him.
The Congress ticket distribution was not democratic. Many of the candidates were 'chocolate' candidates of regional satraps who did not have any winnability, but the party obliged them with tickets.
What do you see as Shivraj Singh Chouhan's future?
He is a leader of very high stature. There are very few chief ministers who have had three terms.
Raman Singh, Vasundhara Raje are all stalwarts and the BJP will use their services in frontal organisations or they will be given the responsibility of leader of Opposition in their respective states.
When Digvijay Singh lost in 2003, he vowed that for 10 years he would not come into state politics.
If he had taken the post of leader of the Opposition in MP in 2008, the Congress would have returned to power.
Digvijay Singh was Congress president for two terms and chief minister for 10 years.
When he was CM, the organisation was not that important because he had been Congress president for 10 years and party workers had linkages with Digvijay Singh, the former Congress president who was now chief minister.
After his exit and absence from the state for 10 years all those workers from villages and towns were looking for a leader, but there was none.
If the BJP is going to make the same mistake and appoint other people as state leaders the same thing will happen to the BJP.
Yogi Adityanath was a star campaigner for the BJP in MP. What effect did he have in the state?
There was no impact of Mr Modi, Mr Amit Shah and Mr Yogi. Most of the time they were giving negative speeches and indulging in Hindu-Muslim politics. They were not talking of policies.
There has been an erosion of Modi's image. You could see that even during the campaigning.
Rajnath Singh these elections are a referendum on the state CM's performance and not on Mr Modi.
It is the BJP and Modi's responsibility.
They want to save Modi and hang Shivraj Singh, Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh for the defeat.
What has surprised you about the election result in Madhya Pradesh?
There was a lot of resentment against the BJP which has not translated into votes, this is surprising.
If there was this resentment, why did this resentment not show at the polling booth then?
Shivraj Singh has supplied smart phones to young people, cycles to girls, heritage tourism for old people etc -- perhaps these measures had greater resonance with the electorate rather than price rise, farmer distress.
After 15 years of governance they could not control the people's resentment.
What will be the expectations of the Congress government if the governor invites the party to form the government?
Rahul Gandhi has committed that 10 days after coming to power there will be a loan waiver for farmers up to 2 lakh rupees. I will be waiting for 10 days -- on the 11th day, I will start writing an article if this does not happen.
The biggest challenge for the Congress is creating jobs.
They have to come out with a powerful progressive welfare agenda for the people.
Education and health are in shambles in MP.