After a tough battle in Gujarat, BJP secured the majority to form its government for the sixth time in a row in this important state. The gap between BJP and Congress reduced to 18 at 2.12 PM. The trend shows BJP leading in 100, Congress in 80. However, Rahul Gandhi-led Congress which is leading in 80 seats gave BJP a run for its money. So far, it has been a close fight between both the national parties who gave it all in the Gujarat elections. So is it a wake-up call for BJP and Narendra Modi? Congress which was nowhere in the picture in the recently concluded Uttar Pradesh Municipal elections bounced back in the state elections to give a tough fight to BJP. On the other hand, both Alpesh Thakor (Radhanpur)and Jignesh Mewani (Vadgam) won in their respective constituencies. Notably, there was a tense moment for the ‘Lotus’ earlier in the day when Congress was leading in the race.
BJP had targeted 150 seats and climbed down to 125, but even then it managed just over 100. So somewhere along the line, they lost a big chunk of 30-40 seats. Even BJP leader, Subramanian Swamy termed the 150 seat target as laughable. He predicted that the ‘Lotus’ will only bloom on 105 seats in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, after remaining silent all morning reacted to the party’s defeat in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections. Rahul asked his party workers not to get disheartened and claimed that he is not disappointed by the defeat. He said that he was satisfied and not disappointed. The newly-found confidence in the new Congress president might give a headache to both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. The Congress has been looking for a turnaround this time. Seen as the semi-final before 2019, General elections, the Gujarat elections were held in two phases on December 9 and 14.
Nonetheless, for now, it is BJP who would be celebrating their win and would shift their attention to Karnataka where the legislative assembly elections are scheduled for next year. The state is a stronghold of Congress and is currently the ruling party with Siddaramaiah as the Chief Minister. The legislative assembly election will be held to elect members of the 224 constituencies in Karnataka.