The BJP’s tally in the Gujarat Assembly polls was restricted to 99 seats because “butchers”, “bootleggers” and those opposing the proposed triple talaq Bill didn’t vote for the party, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said on Thursday.
In the elections held last December, the BJP managed to retain power for a sixth straight term though its tally fell to 99 seats. The Congress won 77 seats in the 182-member House.
“I (will) tell you who did not vote for us. It was those butchers who were angry at us for introducing a tough anti-cow slaughter law. It was bootleggers who were angry because the BJP government has introduced a tough prohibition law,” Jadeja told the Assembly.
He was speaking on the Motion of Thanks to Governor O P Kohli’s February 19 address to the House on the first day of the Budget Session, when the topic veered towards the BJP’s poll performance following a dig by the Congress. “Many school owners were unhappy because we brought a law to cap their fees. Those who were angry with the BJP government at the Centre for introducing a Bill to protect Muslim women against triple talaq also did not give us votes. But we are not bothered about them,” he said.
Jadeja said the Congress gained only 77 seats though its leaders tried to incite people through casteist and communal politics. “Congress leaders used to claim ahead of the polls that the party will come to power by winning over 125 seats. However, they got only 77 seats,” he said.
In an apparent dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Jadeja said, “Though a top Congress leader, who never visited temples before, visited so many temples ahead of the polls, it did not help the party to come to power in Gujarat”.
Jadeja said the BJP came to power “with the votes of rural people, youths who got employment, and women who benefited from the policies of the government”.
Meanwhile, in a veiled attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress MLA Vikram Madam said, “Good dialogues will help a movie to become successful (but) to run a country successfully, you need concrete plans… It was the BJP’s vision to win 150 seats. You need to do an introspection as to why you were reduced to just 99.”