The results of Assembly elections in the Hindi heartland are a setback for the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah, the CPI-M has said, warning that the BJP may be tempted now to whip up more communal frenzy.An editorial in the CPI-M journal "People's Democracy" also warned the Congress to immediately address the problems of agrarian distress and employment generation in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh."They cannot afford to take a soft attitude to communal activities and must crack down on cow vigilantism and mob lynching," said the Communist Party of India-Marxist.The editorial pointed out that overall, the results of the Assembly elections "are a setback for the BJP and the leadership of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah."It provides the much needed momentum for the forthcoming battle in the Lok Sabha elections to defeat the BJP," it added.The results of the elections in the three BJP-ruled states have a national significance, it said.
"The defeat has dented the image of invincibility around the Modi-Shah duo which has been assiduously built up by the BJP... They have proved to be ineffective in their own traditional strongholds."The editorial also said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had been increasingly losing by-elections, reflecting "the growing discontent among the people against the Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-ruled state governments".At the same time, it faulted the Congress for trying to borrow some issues from the Hindutva platform. This, it said, did not get them any electoral benefits.But it warned that the BJP had still got a substantial vote share -- 41 per cent in Madhya Pradesh and 38.8 per cent in Rajasthan. In the former it was 0.1 per cent ahead of the Congress vote share and just 0.5 per cent less than the Congress share in Rajasthan."This underlines the scope for a BJP recovery if there is a slight swing in its favour. It also points to the likely possibility of the BJP-RSS combine stepping up its communal agenda in the coming days in view of the Lok Sabha elections."