New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party has defeated the main rival Congress in two States Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh with convincing majority.
The BJP has retained power in Gujarat by winning 99 of the 182 seats and restricting the Congress to 77 seats. The Nationalist Congress Party could manage to open it’s account in Gujarat with just one seat, while the Bharatiya Tribal Party has tagged two and one seat has gone to an independent candidate.
In Gujarat, it being the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP chief Amit Shah, BJP’s prestige was at stake. The Gujarat General election was being viewed as a mandate on 3-year plus rule of Modi at the Centre. Especially this was an acid test for the BJP when it came to gauging people’s mood and response to demonetization and introduction of GST. From the Congress side, Rahul Gandhi, who was elevated as party president during the course of electioneering for the Gujarat and Himachal polls, it was time to prove a point as the phrase goes, nothing succeeds like success. But failure in these elections that were fought bitterly with no holds barred on both sides – the Congress and BJP – will call for more than just introspection within the Congress camp, which has to put it’s house in order for the Assembly elections due next year and also the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
In Gujarat, the Congress has paid a heavy price as it’s leader Rahul Gandhi was busy hobnobbing with rabble rouser Hardik Patel, who is seen by many as a sectarian and divisive leader heading a movement in Gujarat to demand reservation for his Patel community. Gandhi’s new found love for temples and his declaration that he is a ‘janau dhari’ Shiv Bhakt (sacred thread wearing follower of Lord Shiva) also could not deliver dividends for the Congress that has been battling with the crisis of leadership for a long time.
In Himachal Pradesh, the ruling Congress, has been defeated by the BJP, which has won 44 of the 68 seats in the Assembly against 21 bagged by the Congress. The Congress parry went to poll in Himachal with the handicap of defending it’s position against the onslaught of corruption charges against Virabhadra Singh, the longest-serving Chief Minister.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has won a seat while Independens have got two seats n Himachal. The victory notwithstanding what has come as a big setback for the BJP in this himalayan state is that it’s chief ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal has lost the election.