BJP’s Gujarat : The Tribune India

BJP’s Gujarat

Modi’s appeal remains intact in the state

BJP’s Gujarat

THE BJP’s thumping victory in the Gujarat Assembly election had an air of inevitability about it, though the huge margin might have come as a surprise even for the party high command. - File photo



THE BJP’s thumping victory in the Gujarat Assembly election had an air of inevitability about it, though the huge margin might have come as a surprise even for the party high command. The ease with which the saffron party has defeated its rivals proves beyond doubt that the voters have reposed faith in the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, who was the state’s chief minister for 13 years. Modi’s mass appeal across the state continues to work for the BJP, irrespective of who is occupying the CM’s chair. In the past eight years after Modi shifted from Gandhinagar to New Delhi, the state has had three CMs — Anandiben Patel, Vijay Rupani and Bhupendrabhai Patel. With the PM and Home Minister Amit Shah both belonging to Gujarat, the Centre has been paying special attention to the state in terms of welfare schemes and development projects. As expected, the ruling party left no stone unturned to ensure that the poll battle was reduced to a one-horse race yet again.

The entry of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made things even worse for the beleaguered Congress, which came a distant second with a drastically reduced vote share. The absence of a credible alternative in Gujarat also worked in the BJP’s favour. The electorate voted emphatically for continuity as there was no pressing reason to opt for change. AAP’s populist promises have helped it gain a foothold in Gujarat, while the Congress finds itself on the brink of becoming irrelevant in the state.

The record-breaking triumph is expected to give a fillip to the BJP’s prospects in the Assembly elections scheduled to be held in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh next year. The reversal in Himachal Pradesh might have bruised its ego, but the party would prefer to quickly learn a lesson and gear up for the bigger battles ahead. The BJP will surely hard-sell the time-tested Gujarat growth model across the country and also try to replicate it in various party-ruled states; the outcome of such efforts will have a bearing on its bid to retain power at the Centre in 2024. 

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