Surmounting the incumbency factor, attempted caste-based social engineering by the Congress, and perceived anger over the GST, the BJP clinched the Gujarat Assembly polls sixth time in a row yesterday, winning 99 seats in the 182-member House. The saffron party’s tally, however, was 16 less than 115 in the previous election. It is also for the first time it has slipped below the 100 mark since the BJP formed its maiden government on its own in 1995. It was in a coalition government with the Janata Dal in 1990 but the two parted ways soon.
Mobile number porting charges: Trai mulls cutting rates from Rs 19 to Rs 4
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) feels that the present rate of Rs 19 for processing mobile number porting requests is “quite high compared to cost and volume of transactions” and therefore has proposed reduction of the charge to Rs 4. The regulator on Monday floated a consultation paper on the same and invited comments from the public and stakeholders. In November 2009, Trai fixed the transaction charge for every porting request to Rs 19 through the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Per-Port Transaction Charge and Dipping Charge Regulations, 2009.
Prem Kumar Dhumal loses from Sujanpur
BJP’s chief ministerial face for the Himachal Pradesh polls, Prem Kumar Dhumal, was defeated today from the Sujanpur Assembly seat. The former chief minister lost to his Congress rival Rajinder Singh Rana by 1,919 votes, according to the Election Commission. Dhumal got 23,369 votes against 25,228 votes polled by Rana. Earlier reports had said Dhumal’s margin of defeat was about 3,500 votes but the Election Commission late night put out the votes polled in the constituency, showing that he had lost by 1,919 votes.
BJP trounced in PM Narendra Modi’s home district
The Unjha constituency, under which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hometown Vadnagar falls, today slipped out of the BJP’s hands with the Congress winning the north Gujarat seat. Congress’ Ashaben Patel wrested the seat, falling in the Patidar-dominated Mehsana district, from BJP’s five-term MLA Narayanbhai Patel. Mehsana was the epicentre of the Patidar agitation, which flared up in 2015. BJP was trying to contain the damage in Unjha by playing up the fact that its local candidate heads the Umiya Dham Temple, which is revered by the Patel community, but it clearly came a cropper.
People have chosen politics of performance: Amit Shah
BJP chief Amit Shah today blamed Congress’s “caste politics” for his party’s lowest tally in Gujarat since 1996, but cited the rise in its vote share and the sixth straight victory in the state to assert that the people had chosen its “politics of performance”. Citing his party’s winning streak since it came to power at the Centre in May, 2014, he said the BJP would win the 2019 Lok Sabha poll with a strong majority, and the people would help realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a “New India” by 2022. He rejected suggestions that it was a “kante ki takkar” (close fight) in Modi’s and his home state, saying that the BJP’s vote share was eight per cent more that of the Congress.