Gujarat landslide, himachal stunner

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Brand Modi registered a historic victory in the Gujarat elections where it shattered all previous records and confined the opposition Congress to its worst ever tally, which is insufficient to even claim the post of leader of opposition in the state Assembly. To get the post, the Congress needs a minimum of 19 seats in the 182-member House, but has only 17.

The other state that went to polls Himachal Pradesh saw the Congress wresting power from the BJP. The grand old party won 40 seats against the BJP’s 25. Unpopularity of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and the Congress party’s election promises of restoring the old pension scheme, free 300 units of power and `1,500 allowance to women saw the state continuing the decades old tradition of not re-electing a sitting government. 

The BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed 31 rallies in Gujarat, won 156 seats and is set to form a government for the seventh consecutive term, equaling the Left Front record in West Bengal. The party also surpassed its previous best performance of winning 127 seats in the state in 2002, and bettered Madhavsinh Solanki’s all-time record of winning 149 seats for the Congress in 1985. 

Such was the popularity of the BJP in this election that it swept the tribal and minority seats, which were considered Congress strongholds before this election. The Congress citadel of Saurashtra, which helped bring the party within striking distance of power in the 2017 election, also came crumbling down under the BJP’s onslaught.

As celebrations broke out, the party’s Gujarat president C R Patil announced that Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will take his oath of office on December 12. The ceremony will be attended by the prime minister, home minister Amit Shah and national president J P Nadda, besides a number of Union ministers and chief ministers. 

Addressing party workers at the BJP’s Delhi headquarters, Modi termed the Gujarat victory as the beginning of the golden period for new India. He said the BJP will deliver a developed India to the youth of the country by 2047. Nadda attributed the landslide to the prime minister’s credibility and people’s trust in his leadership. Amit Shah termed the victory as a rejection of those who do politics of hollow promises, freebies and appeasement. He said it shows the “unwavering faith of the public in Narendra Modi’s development model”.

As for the AAP, it garnered nearly 13% votes in Gujarat, bringing down the Congress share from 40% in the last election to 27%. The AAP’s vote share catapulted it to the status of a national party. In Himachal, the Congress frontrunner for the post of chief minister, Kaul Singh Thakur, lost the election just like BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal did while his party won the last election.

Another senior Congress leader, Asha Kumari, who was also in the running for CM-ship, lost. The top contenders for the post now are state party president Pratibha Singh, senior MLA Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, state working president Rajendra Rana, who had defeated Dhumal in the last election, former state president Kuldip Rathore, and leader of opposition in the outgoing House Mukesh Agnihotri.

NEW DELHI:  Brand Modi registered a historic victory in the Gujarat elections where it shattered all previous records and confined the opposition Congress to its worst ever tally, which is insufficient to even claim the post of leader of opposition in the state Assembly. To get the post, the Congress needs a minimum of 19 seats in the 182-member House, but has only 17.

The other state that went to polls Himachal Pradesh saw the Congress wresting power from the BJP. The grand old party won 40 seats against the BJP’s 25. Unpopularity of Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and the Congress party’s election promises of restoring the old pension scheme, free 300 units of power and `1,500 allowance to women saw the state continuing the decades old tradition of not re-electing a sitting government. 

The BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who addressed 31 rallies in Gujarat, won 156 seats and is set to form a government for the seventh consecutive term, equaling the Left Front record in West Bengal. The party also surpassed its previous best performance of winning 127 seats in the state in 2002, and bettered Madhavsinh Solanki’s all-time record of winning 149 seats for the Congress in 1985. 

Such was the popularity of the BJP in this election that it swept the tribal and minority seats, which were considered Congress strongholds before this election. The Congress citadel of Saurashtra, which helped bring the party within striking distance of power in the 2017 election, also came crumbling down under the BJP’s onslaught.

As celebrations broke out, the party’s Gujarat president C R Patil announced that Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will take his oath of office on December 12. The ceremony will be attended by the prime minister, home minister Amit Shah and national president J P Nadda, besides a number of Union ministers and chief ministers. 

Addressing party workers at the BJP’s Delhi headquarters, Modi termed the Gujarat victory as the beginning of the golden period for new India. He said the BJP will deliver a developed India to the youth of the country by 2047. Nadda attributed the landslide to the prime minister’s credibility and people’s trust in his leadership. Amit Shah termed the victory as a rejection of those who do politics of hollow promises, freebies and appeasement. He said it shows the “unwavering faith of the public in Narendra Modi’s development model”.

As for the AAP, it garnered nearly 13% votes in Gujarat, bringing down the Congress share from 40% in the last election to 27%. The AAP’s vote share catapulted it to the status of a national party. 
In Himachal, the Congress frontrunner for the post of chief minister, Kaul Singh Thakur, lost the election just like BJP’s Prem Kumar Dhumal did while his party won the last election.

Another senior Congress leader, Asha Kumari, who was also in the running for CM-ship, lost. The top contenders for the post now are state party president Pratibha Singh, senior MLA Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, state working president Rajendra Rana, who had defeated Dhumal in the last election, former state president Kuldip Rathore, and leader of opposition in the outgoing House Mukesh Agnihotri.