India's ruling party wins key state election

Lester Mason
January 18, 2018

Taking to Twitter, Nirupam questioned the saffron party's good showing despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing empty chairs and 'people of Gujarat being against the BJP'. Not surprisingly, supporters of the dynasty lost little time in singing paeans to Rahul's exemplary leadership and concluding that the Nehru-Gandhi clan is the last hope for all Indians to mitigate their miseries, with Left-leaning intellectuals supplied the accompanying orchestra. Of the 182 state assembly seats the party secured 99, 16 less than its 2012 tally.

The Congress claimed a "moral victory" and celebrated its strong performance in the tough election. "But the BJP suffered a massive jolt in Gujarat".

Gujarat polls showed the BJP's vote-share slumping sharply since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when it clocked almost 60 per cent votes, while that of the Congress improved significantly. "The message is clear that it can not take people for granted", political analyst Ghanshyam Shah told PTI. However, the strike rate in assembly segments where his rallies were organised may not please the PM as the party candidates failed to win their seats in half of them.

On the BJP workers rejoicing the win, the Sena wondered whether the party has scored "such a scintillating victory" that it was worthy of being celebrated with dancing.

Health Minister JP Nadda said leaders like Arun Jaitley and Saroj Pandey will go to Gujarat while Nirmala Sitharaman and Narendra Singh Tomar to travel to Himachal to meet the MLAs of the respective states to decide on CMs, NDTV reported. "Despite people's dissatisfaction, the Congress could not convert the golden chance to its benefit as it lacked a credible face", Shah said.

Still, many feel that to a great extent it was Modi's charisma that saved the day for the BJP.

A relieved BJP said Modi's popularity remained intact.

However, one senior leader within the party said that the Congress ought to have asked for recounting using VVPAT papers in places where BJP's margins of victory was thin.

At the state level, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now governs 68% of India's population. He also had to manage a disorganized party at the state level, with a wobbly network of functionaries on the ground. It delayed announcing dates for the Gujarat election after it declared them for Himachal, thus leaving time for Modi to announce a package of economic measures for the state, along with changes to the GST which helped traders.

If reports are to believed, Vajubhai Vala, the incumbent governor of Karnataka and former Speaker of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, is the third candidate in contention. "They may have lost, but have defeated the BJP". "Earlier, the possibility was that the caste preferences were overshadowed by the Hindutva influence", Jani, a professor of sociology of Gujarat University, said.

Jignesh Mevani came to fore after four dalit men were flogged in Saurashtra's Una town in 2016. The election result also point that BJP will not have a cake walk in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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