BJP wins Gujarat but short of century, sweeps Himachal: 10 Points

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December 18, 2017

A BJP supporter with placards of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah during celebrations outside BJP office after victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. – Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images

December 18, 2017

A BJP supporter with placards of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah during celebrations outside BJP office after victories in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. – Pradeep Gaur/Mint via Getty Images

New Delhi: It is 2-0 to the BJP, which has swept Himachal Pradesh and has also won Gujarat again, though by a decidedly lower margin of victory than last time.

The BJP has crossed the 92 seats it needs for a majority in the 182-member Gujarat assembly, but is still struggling to make the psychological 100 mark.

BJP chief Amit Shah has attributed the lower numbers to the "Congress' caste politics and low level of political discourse."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the BJP's win in both states "show the country is ready for reform, rewards performance and is keen to be transformed." Rahul Gandhi has conceded defeat saying his party "accepts the verdict."

Here is your cheatsheet to the results of 2017 Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections:

  1. "You may not like the BJP but please do not do anything to derail the country's development," PM Modi said at the BJP headquarters this evening, where he had come for a felicitation and a meeting of the party's highest decision making body, the parliamentary board. He was greeted by Amit Shah and both leaders flashed victory signs.
  2. The BJP has won 97 seats in Gujarat and is leading is two, down 16 from last time, while the Congress has 75 and is leading in 80, up 19. The BJP has 49.1 per cent vote share (47.85 per cent in 2012) and the Congress 41.4 per cent (38.93 per cent in 2012).
  3. In Himachal Pradesh, the BJP has won 38 and is leading in 6 of the state's 68 assembly seats, but its chief ministerial candidate PK Dhumal has lost his election. The BJP had deviated from its strategy in recent state elections by naming a presumptive chief minister. A party needs 35 seats or more to form government in Himachal.
  4. Among seats that the BJP has ceded to the Congress in Gujarat is PM Modi's hometown Vadnagar.
  5. The BJP has lost most ground in the Saurashtra region, but is also trailing in a few seats in north and central Gujarat that it had won in 2012. The BJP has been in power in Gujarat for the last two decades.
  6. The Congress has drawn eight per cent more Patel votes than last time, also gaining 17 seats in rural Gujarat. In an aggressive campaign, Rahul Gandhi tried to cash in on the anger of key groups against the BJP, urging farmers and traders to reject the BJP for its mega economic policies notes ban and new national tax GST, which he alleged have brought them to their knees.
  7. Mr. Gandhi had tied up with Hardik Patel, the 24-year-old face of the Patel or Paatidar agitation for reservation. He supported Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and inducted into his party backward caste (OBC) leader Alpesh Thakor, both of who have won their elections.
  8. "Dynasty, casteism and appeasement has lost to development," said Amit Shah, attacking Rahul Gandhi, who took over as Congress chief two days ago from his mother Sonia Gandhi. "Yes, I admit we got fewer seats than we hoped. Lowering the level of campaign will have some effect? And caste politics? That had its effect on the result," the BJP chief said.
  9. Rahul Gandhi has tweeted, "My Congress brothers and sisters, you have made me very proud. You are different than those you fought because you fought anger with dignity. You have demonstrated to everyone that the Congress's greatest strength is its decency and courage."
  10. In Gujarat, almost 2 per cent of the voters chose the "none of the above" (NOTA) option, effectively rejecting candidates across the political spectrum. That's higher than the shares of all other parties apart from the BJP or Congress.

Courtesy/Source: NDTV