With the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance set to form the government in Jharkhand, several opposition parties on Monday linked the mandate to the CAA and the NRC, saying people have demolished "arrogance" of the BJP, which attributed its defeat to local issues and "internal strife" in the state.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's working president Hemant Soren, the chief ministerial candidate of the alliance, said with the electoral mandate, a new chapter begins which will prove to be a milestone.
Speaking to the media, he said the opposition partners will meet to chalk out the strategy for the future.
Meanwhile, outgoing Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das took responsibility for the electoral verdict, saying it was his defeat and not of the BJP.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Soren for the victory and extended his best wishes to the alliance while BJP president Amit Shah said his party respects the mandate of voters and also expressed his gratitude to the people of Jharkhand for giving the BJP a chance to govern the state for five years.
In his tweets after the BJP lost power in the state, Modi said his party would continue serving it and raising people-centric issues.
With the outcome of the poll clearly giving a majority for the Soren-led alliance, Congress leader P Chidambaram said the BJP is not unbeatable and urged opposition parties to join forces against the ruling saffron party.
Congratulating Soren, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said people have faith that he would fulfil their aspirations.
Banerjee also said that elections were held amid protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the proposed countrywide NRC, and extended good wishes to the "brothers and sisters" of the neighbouring state for voting in favour of the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance.
The Sharad Pawar-led NCP said people of Jharkhand have demolished the "arrogance" of Modi and the saffron party president Shah.
The Shiv Sena, which recently severed ties with the BJP, said the Jharkhand polls have shown that people are not buying the saffron party's politics based on sentimental issues like the National Register of Citizens.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Jharkhand results appeared to be a verdict against the NRC and the CAA, and reflected the public reaction to the "arrogance" of the BJP visible across the country.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo also said the BJP leaders have "aggressively" campaigned in the last two phases of the Jharkhand Assembly polls, raising the issues related to the CAA and the NRC.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao attributed the party's loss in Jharkhand to "local issues", and said "internal strife" also appeared to have a significant fall out.
"Inability of local leadership to convince the electorate for repeat of the mandate and internal strife within the party also appeared to have a significant fall out. A detailed analysis will be done," he said.
BJP's face in the state Das faced a challenge from his former cabinet and party colleague Saryu Roy, who left the party after being denied ticket from Jamshedpur (West) seat. Roy contested the poll from the Jamshedpur (East), a seat held by Das five times, as an Independent and was leading by a huge margin.
"We have seen that local elections are increasingly influenced by the performance of the local government and local factors," Rao said, referring to recent assembly polls in Haryana and Maharashtra besides Jharkhand.
Asked about the impact of the CAA on Jharkhand elections, BJP vice president Shivraj Singh Chouhan said state elections are fought on different issues and rejected suggestions that the Jharkhand elections was a litmus test for the Act.
All India Congress Committee in-charge for Jharkhand, RPN Singh said, "We will form the government as we fought the elections for the people of the state by raising issues that affect their lives and livelihoods. Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Shah tried to divert the attention of the people away from fundamental issues but the people did not get swayed."
Reiterating that Hemant Soren of the JMM will be the chief minister as declared earlier, Singh said the Jharkhand results are a defeat of BJP's "arrogance and diversionary tactics".