Publish: 09 Dec 2022, 11:47 am
The BJP scored a phenomenal victory in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, smashing the Congress's record in a strong performance ahead of the 2024 national election.
The Congress, pulverized in Gujarat, won in Himachal Pradesh, reports NDTV.
The BJP has won 97 seats and is leading in 59 seats in Gujarat in yet another super-sized victory powered by PM Modi. It is set to win close to 160 of 182 seats, the best ever for any party in the state.
The Congress, which delivered a strong performance in 2017, dropped to its worst Gujarat tally ever, less than 20. With a dispirited and belated campaign, the party had "conceded" long before the election.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal celebrated the silver lining after a disappointing show in Gujarat (five) and Himachal Pradesh (zero) - its "national party" status because of the Gujarat vote share.
Despite its energetic, all-in campaign, AAP failed to dent the BJP in "Fort Modi". What it did was to eat into Congress's votes, effectively helping the BJP rack up an even bigger total.
The BJP has not lost in Gujarat since 1995. Remarkably, the party has not faced anti-incumbency in its 27-year rule.
Bhupendra Patel, who took over as Chief Minister a year ago, will be sworn in for a second term on December 12 (Monday). Home Minister Amit Shah had said Patel would return as Chief Minister if the BJP won again.
In Himachal Pradesh, after an early scare, the Congress won 40 seats, a comfortable majority, with the BJP at 25. AAP didn't win a single seat.
The BJP had been banking on the achievements of PM Modi for a smooth transition to a record second term in Himachal Pradesh, even though the state diligently swings between the BJP and the Congress every five years.
Even if AAP does not manage a double-digit tally, its foothold in Gujarat is expected to bring a change in the binary politics of Gujarat and present the BJP with a more persistent and strategic opponent than the Congress. Party leaders have already said that this election marks the beginning of AAP's journey as a national party.
The Congress, focused on its big picture Bharat Jodo Yatra, was seen as putting up a token campaign in Gujarat, where it won 77 seats in 2017, and in Himachal Pradesh, where the trend of the last few decades gives it a bonus point. In Delhi civic polls -- which had more voters than in Himachal Pradesh -- the Congress won only nine seats.
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