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The Bhartiya Janata Party's campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections got a significant leg up Sunday with the party winning Assembly elections in three of the four heartland states — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh — and emerging the largest party in the fourth, the national capital of Delhi.
Its main rival Congress was decimated in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, so much so that it came a poor third in the last of the three, unable to reach even the double-digit mark in the city-state it ruled for 15 years and claimed credit for its transformation.
The Congress ran the BJP close in Chhattisgarh and was ahead in the initial stages of counting, raising hope that the 0-4 drubbing prediction may not come true after all. However, the neck-and-neck race eventually saw Raman Singh's BJP racing past the post.
Sunday's other spectacular outcome belonged to the Aam Aadmi Party of Arvind Kejriwal.
Making its political debut through the Delhi elections, the one-year-old party won 28 seats to the BJP's 31, while the Congress got a paltry eight in the House of 70.
Kejriwal himself ended up as a giant killer, trouncing three-term Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in her New Delhi constituency.
But the results also meant no party got a majority in the capital, and with Kejriwal ruling out support to any political party to form a government, Delhi was staring at uncertainty — and possibly rule by the lieutenant governor — until fresh elections.
BJP president Rajnath Singh, however, was confident his party would form the government in all four states.
"Let me make it clear that we will form governments in all the four states and we will have our chief ministers there," he told a news conference, adding that the party gained from the popularity of its PM candidate, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who campaigned extensively in the four states.