Gujarat verdict on December 8: BJP eyes records, Congress revival : The Tribune India

Gujarat verdict on December 8: BJP eyes records, Congress revival

Results will determine if AAP will become a national party

Gujarat verdict on December 8: BJP eyes records, Congress revival

Polling officials monitor strong room through CCTV footage ahead of counting for the Gujarat Assembly elections, in Ahmedabad, on Tuesday. PTI Photo

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, December 7

The ruling BJP is looking to set records and the Congress is hoping for revival a few hours ahead of the Gujarat election verdict which will be out on Thursday.

Powered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personalised campaign in his home state, the BJP in Gujarat would watch out for its final tally aiming to surpass the party’s 2002 record of the best ever win when it bagged 127 seats out of 182 and a vote share of 49. 85 per cent.

The BJP is hoping to set one record – of beating the Congress Party’s phenomenal 1985 performance of 149 seats with 55.55 per cent of all votes polled. The 1985 Gujarat election was the Congress Party’s dream run with late chief minister Madhav Sinh Solanki powering the party’s victory through the famous KHAM (Kshatriyas, Harijans, Adivasis and Muslims) voter base experiment which succeeded hugely.

For the Congress, Thursday’s verdict would mean many things. Party leaders from the state are hoping to sustain their 2017 performance of winning 77 seats, which was the best since 1985, a record setting year for the grand old party which went consistently downhill after that, managing to give the BJP jitters only in 2017.

With 2017’s favourable matrix of the Patidar agitation, youth force embodied by the Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor, Jignesh Mevani combine and the fiery campaign of then Congress President Rahul Gandhi missing this time, it remains to be seen whether the party will even touch its 2017 mark.

Any decline from the 2017 threshold would deal a fatal blow to the Congress, already facing electoral decline for two years. The party has not won a single state on its own during this time, losing even Punjab to AAP earlier this year.

AAP’s challenge in Gujarat is real with the Congress suffering jolts everywhere the Arvind Kejriwal led outfit has entered, be it Delhi, Punjab, Goa or UP. Congress leaders have openly attacked AAP as BJP’s B team, even while AAP forges ahead with its pan India ambitions.

For AAP too, tomorrow’s election cycle in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh is key to the national ambitions of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

AAP’s performance and vote share in the two states will determine if it can get the Election Commission’s coveted national party tag. Right now AAP is a state recognized party and would need a reasonable show in the two states tomorrow to enter the 8-member national parties’ club currently featuring the Congress, BJP, NCP, CPI, CPM, BSP, TMC, and NPP.

For all three parties in the fray in Gujarat tomorrow, results would have a psychological bearing going into 2023, which will witness elections to nine states followed by 2024 general elections.

Currently, BJP MPs represent all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat and three out of four (barring Mandi which is with the Congress) LS seats in Himachal Pradesh.

Gujarat has a 182 member assembly and 92 is the simple majority mark.

#BJP #Congress #Gujarat #Narendra Modi

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