In a much closer election battle than the exit polls had predicted, BJP has managed to retain power in Gujarat. They had managed to starve of the anti-incumbency and the voters have once again reposed their faith on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.
Though they have not won the 150 seats that president Amit Shah had been talking about the fact that they had crossed 100 plus mark even after 22 years is indeed creditable. At one point though during the trends Congress was ahead of the BJP and looked like a major upset was on the cards. But that did not happen . The fluctuating fortunes had the SENSEX in a tizzy too . It too stabilised after BJP emerged front- runner to form government yet again.
The win is shot in the arm for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A loss would have meant his policies of Demonetisation, GST would have come under the scanner and the much talked about Gujarat model would have been a laughing stock. A loss for the Prime Minister in his home state would also have jolted the development and economic reforms they intend to do before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The Congress on the other hand , it seems had paid the price for not going in the Election with a CM candidate. Though they had improved their seats tally from 61 to 78. It was a lot to be desired considering they managed to rope in Hardik patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani to be part of their effort to oust the BJP.
The neech comment by Mani Shankar Aiyer, and Kapil Sibal’s stand on Ram temple , Dr Manmohan Singh’s dinner with Pakistan Delegates hit the party hard it seems during the second phase. PM Modi capitalised on the Congress gaffes and swung the votes the BJP way.
While Modi adds another feather in his cap and looks unstoppable, Rahul Gandhi’s stint as Congress president has started with losses in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Certainly not a right way to start his presidency. Congress has to introspect hard now as to how it was so near yet so far in Gujarat.
Overall, one thing is quite certain, that 2019 Lok sabha polls whenever they are held will be tough fight then predicted.