After Himachal loss, Congress left in power in only four states

The BJP has already begun to eye Karnataka which is expected to go to the polls sometime in April or May next year. Photograph:( PTI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 18, 2017, 03.00 PM (IST)

New Congress President Rahul Gandhi has his work cut out for him.

Following the election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh on Monday, the Congress -- the country's "grand old party" -- is now left in power in only four states in the country. 

The four states are Punjab, Karnataka, Meghalaya, and Mizoram.

Also read: Election results prove country ready for reform: Modi after Gujarat win

Since coming to power at the Centre -- Modi had at the time promised to deliver a "Congress- mukt Bharat" -- the BJP has wrested Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Assam, and Manipur from the Congress.

The Congress had ruled Maharashtra for over 15 years, and Assam for over 10. 

Also read: It is a temporary and face-saving win for BJP, says Mamata Banerjee

The next battleground will be Karnataka, which is expected to go to the polls sometime in April or May next year. 

"Victory in Gujarat and Himachal shows people have once again accepted PM Modi, his policies and Gujarat model. They've voted for development and against corrupt Congress. It'll have positive impact in Karnataka," Karnataka BJP President said Monday after the BJP won Gujarat and HImachal. 

On Sunday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had attacked Karnataka's Congress government over what he said was the deteriorating law and order situation.

He cited the murder of the journalist Gauri Lankesh, saying if the BJP came to power in the state it would catch her killers. 

There have also been killings of members of right-wing Hindu groups in Karnataka in recent months. 

Singh also accused the Siddaramaiah government of trying to "divide" society, saying the state government should have refrained from celebrating Tipu Sultan's birthday. 

The "divide" though is really between two different forms of nationalism. 

Karnataka has been mulling the adoption of a state flag and there have been protests in the state against Hindi signboards.  

Commentators say Siddaramaiah will deploy this "sub-nationalism" to counter Modi and the BJP's exhortation of "nationalism".