BJP spokesperson said anti-incumbency was to blame for the impending defeats in the two states.
The BJP has said its impending loss in two key states - Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh - was due to anti-incumbency and insisted that these results have no link to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Of the five states that have gone to the polls this election season, the BJP was defending its governments in three. Of these, defeat is near certain in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. In Madhya Pradesh, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is locked in a dead heat with the Congress.
The BJP has ruled Rajasthan since 2013 and has been in power in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh since 2003. BJP spokespersons zeroed in on anti-incumbency as the sole reason for the reverses. "In both MP and Chhattisgarh, anti-incumbency was set in after 15 years of BJP rule. But despite that the BJP has given a very strong fight," said party spokesperson Sambit Patra.
"I admit that the results are not as per our expectations. The party will certainly do an aatma chintan (introspection)," he added.
Other spokespersons scrambled to delink Tuesday's results with any trend at the national level. "The Assembly elections were fought on local factors. The outcome of the result shouldn't be linked to 2019 elections," said spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam.
The comment seems aimed at countering efforts of opposition parties to portray the BJP's reverses as an anti-incumbent wave against the Modi government at the centre. PM Modi's opponents are also likely to use the victories in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh as a rallying call in their efforts to stitch together a rainbow alliance to stop the BJP election machine, whose run of electoral success since 2014 has caused anxiety among the opposition parties about their shrinking clout.