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Gujarat, Himachal Election Results Analysis: PM Modi thanks Gujarat for BJP’s historic win; Bhupendra Patel resigns as CM, set for another term

Gujarat, Himachal Assembly Election Results Analysis: The Congress saw a dismal outcome in Gujarat, while the Aam Aadmi Party has managed to gain a foothold in the state, and also garner enough votes to become a national party.

Written by Leena Misra , Amil Bhatnagar , Sourav Roy Barman , Mallica Joshi , Navjeevan Gopal
New Delhi | Updated: December 10, 2022 07:06 IST
Giujarat assembly election results, himachal pradesh assembly election results, gujarat polls, himachal pollsThe Indian Express brings you real-time analysis of the results for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections.

Gujarat, Himachal Assembly Election Result Highlights, Analysis: Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tendered his resignation along with his entire cabinet on Friday to pave the way for formation of a new government in the state after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) landslide victory in the Assembly elections. The BJP registered a historic victory in Gujarat by clinching 156 seats in the 182-member House. The Congress saw a dismal outcome in Gujarat, while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has managed to gain a foothold in the state, and also garner enough votes to become a national party. The AAP story is consequential as it has dragged the Congress’s vote share to below 30 per cent for the first time in decades.

As the BJP registered a historic victory in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people of the state. “I bow before people, their blessings are overwhelming,” he said addressing BJP workers at the party headquarters in Delhi. Modi said the support to BJP shows that people’s anger against dynasty rule and corruption was rising, and added that no party has done as much as the BJP has for women. However, as the party will be thrown out of power by the Congress party in Himachal Pradesh, PM Modi said the BJP will keep working to fulfil the aspirations of the state. “I’m thankful to voters in Himachal also where our vote share was less than 1 per cent below that of winning party,” he said.

The Congress party is set to return to power in Himachal Pradesh, dislodging the BJP as it won 40 seats in the 68-member Assembly in the hill state which maintained its tradition of not voting any incumbent government to power since 1985. The win was much-needed for the otherwise deflated party. Meanwhile, the Congress has convened a meeting of all its newly-elected MLAs in Shimla on Friday where a resolution is likely to be passed authorising the party president to pick the next chief minister. Two party observers — Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and senior leader from Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda — along with AICC in-charge for Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla arrived in the state capital. Deciding on the chief ministerial face who can bind the party going forward is the immediate challenge for the Congress. State party president Pratibha Singh is considered a key frontrunner for the chief minister’s post, closely followed by former party chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and outgoing CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri.

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The Congress is all set to return to power in Himachal Pradesh, dislodging the BJP from power. In Gujarat, however, the Congress party was no match for the BJP, riding on the Narendra Modi-wave. Watch this space for an analysis of the election results.

22:28 (IST)09 Dec 2022
1 Muslim MLA in new Gujarat House, down from 3 in previous Assembly

The lone Muslim face in the newly-elected 182-member 15th Gujarat Assembly is the sitting Congress MLA from Ahmedabad’s Jamalpur-Khadia, Imran Khedawala, who has been re-elected from the constituency with a margin of 13,658 votes.

The Muslim community makes up 9.67 per cent of Gujarat’s population. There were three Muslim MLAs, all from the Congress, in the 14th Gujarat Assembly.

The lack of representation of Muslims in the legislatures is not limited to Gujarat or just the BJP-ruled states.

Currently, there are 26 Muslims among the total 543 MPs in the Lok Sabha — making their representation 4.78 per cent, against 14.7 per cent share in the country’s population. -- writes Zeeshan Shaikh

21:26 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Day after win, BJP leader Kantilal Amrutiya performs 'havan' for 135 killed in Morbi bridge collapse

A day after winning the election from Morbi Assembly seat, BJP leader Kantilal Amrutiya (second from right), performs a havan -- a ritual for the peace of souls of 135 killed in Jhulto Pul bridge collapse -- at Machhomata temple on the banks of Machchhu river, in Morbi on Friday. Amrutiya had himself jumped into the river to rescue people after the historic cable-stayed bridge collapsed on October 30 this year. (Express photo/Ravi Motwani)

20:39 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Gujarat polls: BJP fielded 45 new faces by dropping sitting MLAs, 43 won

Of the 45 new candidates fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Gujarat Assembly elections by dropping the sitting MLAs, all but two sailed through. In a bid to nullify anti-incumbency sentiment, the ruling party dropped 45 MLAs including former chief minister Vijay Rupani. The saffron party is in power in Gujarat for 27 years.

The strategy paid off as most of its new candidates won the election. The exceptions were Botad and Waghodia where new BJP candidates were defeated by their Aam Aadmi Party and independent rivals, respectively.

In Botad, the BJP had dropped sitting MLA and former energy minister Saurabh Patel and fielded Ghanshyam Virani. Patel had won the seat in 1998, 2002, 2007 and 2017. In 2012, the BJP's T D Maniya had won the seat.

In a major upset this time, Virani was defeated by AAP's Umesh Makwana with a thin margin of 2,779 votes. (PTI)

20:35 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Gopal Italia thanks people of Gujarat for electing five MLAs from AAP, asks BJP to not indulge in 'paper leaks, corruption, and autocracy'

Aam Aadmi Party Gujarat state president Gopal Italia expressed his gratitude to the people of the state for electing five MLAs from the party and requested the victorious Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to not indulge in "paper leaks, corruption, and autocracy". 

Italia who lost from the Katargam seat told mediapersons in Surat Thursday that the party is now preparing to "struggle and fight". "To work for the people, a lot of struggle is required. And I will do it." said Italia congratulating the BJP on its win.

"I am very happy, and those people who used to say that in the legislative assembly (of Gujarat) that a third party won't work, in their presence five MLAs of AAP will sit. So, I feel good, I am enjoying it," stated the state AAP president. 

Italia was the party's candidate from Katargam in Surat district, and lost to BJP candidate Vinod Moradiya by 31.24% votes, and finished at the second place. (ENS)

20:05 (IST)09 Dec 2022
With less than 10% seats, Congress may lose Leader of Opposition post in Gujarat

The BJP’s landslide victory in Gujarat poses another existential crisis for the Congress. With the party reduced to 17 seats in a House of 182, with the BJP winning 156, the Congress now faces the risk of losing the post of Leader of the Opposition (LoP) in the Assembly.

On Thursday, replying to a question on what if the Congress did not get 10 per cent of the total seats in the Assembly, Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil said, “Then its right to be the opposition party will be taken away.”

A senior officer of the Gujarat Assembly, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “There is no codified rule in the Gujarat Assembly on granting the status of LoP. However, a norm is being followed by the Speaker since 1960, according to which any party that gets a minimum of 10 per cent of the total seats, gets recognised as an opposition party.” The Congress is one short of the 10% mark, at 18 seats.

“In case opposition parties individually fail to get 10 per cent of the total seats, it is left to the Speaker on whether to grant the status to the largest opposition party or not,” the officer added. As per the prevailing norms, the Congress is one seat short of getting formally recognised as an opposition party in the state Assembly. -- writes Parimal A Dabhi

19:38 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Hattee promise doesn't get BJP very far, candidate loses from Shillai in Himachal

The promise of grant of tribal status to Hattees appears to have not helped the BJP in Himachal, with the Congress's Harshwardhan Chauhan defeating the BJP's Baldev Tomar in Shillai in Sirmour district, albeit with a thin margin of 382 votes. The BJP had been very confident of Tomar, considered close to outgoing Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, winning.

During the campaign, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had himself assured that the Union government would soon give tribal status to the Hattees of the district, and that the Cabinet had already passed a proposal of this effect. Chauhan kept telling voters that the BJP was misleading the people and that there was no notification on grant of tribal status yet.

If the BJP was unable to convince the Hattees, the SCs appear to have turned away from the party, fearing that a possible tribal status to the district would hurt their rights.

It was Chauhan's sixth win from Shillai. -- writes Om Prakash Thakur

19:29 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Gujarat polls: Bagging state's lowest of just 30 votes, JD(U) Bapunagar candidate blames party

Pathan Emtiazkhan Sidkhan, JD(U)'s candidate from Bapunagar seat in Ahmedabad, had the misfortune of polling just 30 votes, the lowest by any contestant in the just-concluded Gujarat assembly elections. The 45-year-old, however, sought to put the blame on his party for not campaigning for him. "I would have got more votes had I contested as an independent candidate," he said.

Pathan is not new to politics. He had earlier tried his luck in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Kheda constituency in Gujarat and, according to him, he had got over 5,000 votes.

"I was an independent candidate then. But who knows JD(U) here? No one. This was bound to happen," he said, adding that the party gave tickets to about half a dozen candidates and all lost. The votes Pathan got were the lowest among the 1,621 candidates who contested for a total of 182 seats in the state. 

A key witness of the Gulberg society massacre during the 2002 Gujarat riots, Pathan said that after the 2019 elections, he joined Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and remained a member for two years. (PTI)

18:24 (IST)09 Dec 2022
In Gujarat, Congress cave-in clears road for Modi 2024, sends a message to aam janata

The verdict on December 8, 2022, has given a fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the battle that lies ahead in 2024.

With a historic win in his home state Gujarat, his position is even more invincible. Just a division of the Opposition votes doesn’t explain the surge — the BJP won more seats by getting more than 50% of the votes (53%), upping its vote share by 4%, despite being in power for 27 long years. That’s no mean achievement — and calls for deeper study.

But the 2022 story isn’t so much about the BJP. It was expected to retain Gujarat and the Prime Minister pulled out all the stops. The story is more about the caving-in of the Congress in another big state of India — and, by so doing, strengthening the BJP on the road to 2024.

It is hardly a secret that when the Congress has lost big states – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, or Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, in what was a unified Andhra Pradesh, which catapulted the party to power in 2004 — it has not been able to regain any. -- writes Neerja Chowdhury

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16:57 (IST)09 Dec 2022
How Congress frittered away its 2017 Gujarat gains: steady defections, no one face

For the Congress, more than issues that the BJP attacked it for — Medha Patkar joining the Bharat Jodo Yatra, or the “aukat” and “Raavan” remarks by its leaders against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, among others — it was the perception that the “Congress MLA is an easy defector” that sealed the party’s fate, say Congress leaders.

As the party nursed the wounds after its worst defeat, and stared at a bleak future in Gujarat, finishing with just 17 seats and a vote share of 27%, Congress general secretary in charge of the state, Raghu Sharma, resigned on Thursday even as the results came in.

“We lost the confidence of the voter, who was not sure that if he or she voted for our candidate, whether the latter would stay with the party,” said a national Congress leader.

This perception was reinforced by Arvind Kejriwal, who kept emphasising in his campaign that a vote to the Congress is a vote “wasted” — that a Congress MLA, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief maintained, would eventually join BJP. -- Leena Misra & Ritu Sharma write

15:57 (IST)09 Dec 2022
‘Polarisation’ to ‘misuse of agencies’ to ‘BJP-AAP collusion’: How Oppn sees the Gujarat results

The Opposition reacted sharply to the BJP’s win in Gujarat, saying the “victory was a confirmation of the deep communal polarisation that has been engineered by the BJP-RSS” and that the saffron party funded “the AAP to divide the Congress votes” in the state.

In its official statement on the results Thursday, The CPI(M) called “the BJP’s seventh successive victory” in Gujarat “a confirmation of the deep communal polarisation that has been engineered by the BJP-RSS over the last three decades”. “The projection of a pan-Hindu identity along with the rhetoric about Gujarati pride have overcome the more vital issues like price rise, unemployment and poor public health and educational facilities,” it said.

Talking to reporters after the results, Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole alleged that the BJP used “liquor and money” in the Gujarat elections, adding that “the BJP misused all institutions including the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and Election Commission to win the polls.”

"There is no BJP wave in the country. The people are fed up with BJP’s politics of hatred, declining economy, inflation and unemployment and the same is reflected in these results,” the Maharashtra Congress chief said. Read More

15:53 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Behind Congress’s Himachal comeback: OPS, state issues, campaign narrative, united fight

The Congress party, which suffered its worst-ever debacle in the Gujarat elections, managed to put its act together for the Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls and wrested the hill state from the BJP.

Although the Himachal polls was a close contest between the two contenders, in the end the challenger Congress got the better of the incumbent BJP decisively, bagging 40 of the total 68 seats as against the BJP’s 25.

So what worked for the Congress in the Himachal elections that did not in the Gujarat fray.

Firstly, the party started gearing up for the Himachal polls several months in advance. Despite being plagued by factionalism and infighting, the party’s state unit made efforts to put its house in order with different faction leaders coming together to put up a united face against the BJP. -- writes Amil Bhatnagar 

15:02 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Bhupendra Patel resigns as Gujarat CM, set for another term; BJP legislative party meet on Saturday to decide leader

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tendered his resignation along with his entire cabinet on Friday to pave the way for formation of a new government in the state after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) landslide victory in the Assembly elections. The BJP registered a historic victory in Gujarat by clinching 156 seats in the 182-member House.

Patel, accompanied by Gujarat BJP chief C R Paatil and party's chief whip Pankaj Desai, handed over his resignation to Governor Acharya Devvrat at the Raj Bhavan in Gandhinagar. This is just a formality as the party has already announced that Patel will be the next chief minister of the state ahead of the polls. On Thursday, the state BJP chief had once again announced the Patel would continue to occupy the top post in the state and his swearing-in ceremony would be held on December 12. (PTI)

14:04 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Himachal polls: Rebels played spoilsport in 12 out of 68 assembly seats

Rebels played a spoilsport for both the BJP and Congress in 12 out of the 68 assembly segments in Himachal Pradesh.


The rebels, who contested as independents in the assembly polls, marred the prospects of BJP candidates in eight seats while Congress candidates were hit in four assembly segments.


Out of the total 99 independents who were in the fray, 28 were rebels. All the three winning Independents -- K L Thakur from Nalagarh, Hoshiyar Singh from Dehra and Ashish Sharma from Hamirpur -- were BJP rebels who were denied party tickets.


Thakur had won in 2012 but lost in 2017 and the BJP chose to field Lakhwinder Singh Rana, a two-term Congress MLA, who jumped ship ahead of the elections.


Singh, sitting independent MLA from Dehra had joined the BJP on the eve of assembly elections but the party gave ticket to Ramesh Dhawala while Ashish Sharma from Hamirpur was also a BJP rebel. (PTI)

12:43 (IST)09 Dec 2022
BJP’s tale of contrasts: Why Gujarat strategy clicked, but Himachal did not

The BJP’s record-breaking victory in Gujarat illustrates the success of its booth micromanagement that complemented the popularity and the trust Prime Minister Narendra Modi enjoys among the electorate, while the absence of a similar strategy and organisational failure to effect timely changes cost it in Himachal Pradesh.

On the back of Modi’s intense campaign and a meticulously planned organisational strategy by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the BJP won more than 150 seats in Gujarat, where it lost a few layers of sheen in 2017. This time, the BJP not only broke its personal best of 127 seats from the 2002 Assembly polls, which was held in the aftermath of the post-Godhra riots, it also eclipsed the Congress’s record of 149 seats from 1985 that came on the back of a sympathy wave created by Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Read more

12:07 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Raghavji Patel retains seat of Jamnagar Rural

Bucking the trend of incumbent agriculture ministers losing elections in successive BJP governments, Raghavji Patel, the agriculture minister in the outgoing Bhupendra Patel government managed to retain his seat of Jamnagar Rural in Jamnagar district on Thursday.

In the 2022 Assembly elections announced on Thursday, Raghavji defeated Prakash Donga, his main challenger from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by 47,500 votes. Raghavji polled a total 79,439 votes while Donga managed to get only 31,939 votes. Kasam Khafi of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was the second runner up with 29162 votes while Congress’ Jivan Kumbharvadiya managed to get only 18737 votes and came fourth.

12:05 (IST)09 Dec 2022
The new Gujarat House: 105 fresh faces, 14 women legislators, 1 Muslim; 77 sitting MLAs Re-elected

With 105 new entrants, 14 women and one Muslim, in addition to the 77 sitting MLAs who have been re-elected, the 15th Legislative Assembly of Gujarat is all set to be a mix of fresh faces and experienced hands.

Among the new faces will be Rivaba Jadeja—a businesswoman and the wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja—who won from the Jamnagar North constituency by more than 50,000 votes. There were 13 women MLAs in the 14th Assembly, while the preceding Assembly had a record 17 women MLAs. Apart from Rivaba, there are two other businesswomen—Rita Patel and Malti Maheshwari. Rita is the newly elected BJP MLA from Gandhinagar North seat which covers the state’s capital. A builder by profession, she is the mayor of Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation. Maheshwari, who won from the Gandhidham seat, is into logistics business. Read more

11:07 (IST)09 Dec 2022
BJP wins Limkheda constituency where Bilkis Bano lived, Cong finishes third

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won the Limkheda Assembly seat in Gujarat's Dahod district where 2002 riots victim Bilkis Bano once lived.

The candidate of the opposition Congress which had promised to revoke the remission granted by the BJP-led state government to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gangrape case ended up third, polling 8,000 votes.

Bano was a resident of Randhikpur village in the tribal-dominated Dahod district.

Sitting BJP MLA Shailesh Bhabhor defeated his closest rival, Aam Aadmi Party's Naresh Baria by nearly 4,000 votes.

The premature release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case became an issue in the election campaign, with the Congress mentioning it in its manifesto and vowing to ensure justice for her.

Following the remission, the 11 men walked out of the Godhra sub-jail on August 15.

Some activists and observers had predicted that as the AAP leaders remained silent on the issue while Congress leaders like Jingnesh Mevani were vocal about it, Muslims would vote for the Congress.

But ahead of the polls, Shailesh Bhabhor had confidently claimed that Bilkis Bano was never a poll issue and even Muslims supported the BJP. (PTI)

10:54 (IST)09 Dec 2022
NOTA votes down by over 9 pc in Gujarat

The share of NOTA votes in the Gujarat Assembly elections fell by more than nine per cent from 2017, with the highest of 7,331 such votes polled in Khedbrahma seat this time.


According to Election Commission data, 5,01,202 or 1.5 per cent votes polled this election in the state were NOTA, down from 5,51,594 in the 2017 assembly elections.


The highest number of 7,331 NOTA votes were polled in Khedbrahma seat, followed by 5,213 in Danta and 5,093 in Chhota Udaipur.
The Devgadhbaria seat saw 4,821 NOTA votes, Shehra 4,708, Nizar 4,465, Bardoli 4,211, Daskroi 4,189, Dharamppur 4,189, Choryasi 4,169, Sankheda 4,143, Vadodara City 4,022 and Kaprada 4,020, among others.


The BJP bagged 156 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. It garnered a vote share of nearly 53 per cent, which was the highest for the party in the western state.


The BJP, which bagged 99 seats in the 2017 Assembly polls with a 49.1 per cent vote share, surpassed its previous best showing of 127 seats in 2002 when Narendra Modi was the chief minister. (PTI)

10:34 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu emerges as CM face in Himachal Pradesh

Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, a three-time MLA from Himachal Pradesh and the head of the Congress’s election committee, has emerged as a CM face in the state.  

Like many other leaders, he began his career in student politics and rose to the position of state unit chief. With his comfortable victory from Nadaun, Sukhu is looking to cement his position in the highest post in the state 

Originally from Nadaun in the Hamirpur district of the state, Sukhu obtained a degree in law.  He joined the Congress’s student wing NSUI during his time in college. He was elected president of its state unit in 1989. Between 1998-2008, Sukhvinder also served as the president of the state youth Congress. 

Sukhu was elected twice as Councilor of the municipal corporation of Shimla in the period between 1992 and 2002. After stints at the youth Congress, he became the secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee in 2008. Sukhu was made president of the party largely owing to his party management skills and popularity.

Sukhu’s role in the party was evident as he headed the election campaign committee for the polls scheduled for later this year. Over a period of time, the 58-year-old leader has developed a support base among locals and within the party cadre. 

After a successful campaign, Sukhu will be throwing the weight of his performance and his supporters in the CM race.

09:55 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Behind surge in Gujarat: Modi 2022, Modi 2024, missing Congress

With Gujarat voting the BJP back for the seventh straight time, this election has made history in the state: it gave the party over 50 per cent of the popular vote and the highest seat tally in the House at 150 plus minus a ‘Hindutva wave’ but at the same time making room for a new political party in the Opposition space.

The key takeaways of the 2022 election are the formidable, undiminished sway Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds over his home state; the readiness of a section of the voters to accept an “outsider,” and the rejection of the fatigued Congress. Read more

BJP supporters wait to get a glimpse of PM Narendra Modi outside a polling booth in Gujarat's Ranip on Monday during the state elections. (Express photo by Nirmal Harindran)

As Modi insulates BJP from defeat, on Gujarat ground, voices for change mention Kejriwal

On the surface, Gujarat 2022 looks, in the words of a BJP leader, a “neeras (colourless)” election. A Congress leader agreed that everything about it is “anmana (indifferent)”. There is no wave, even though the BJP seems set to win — its workers not fired by the enthusiasm they have shown in the past.

The Congress, which should have been upbeat, having come close to defeating the BJP in 2017, displays a fatigue. This when many, including BJP leaders, said this was the Congress’s election to take “101 taka” — if only it had got its act together and projected an effective leader. Today, many can’t even name who is its party chief or leader in the state Assembly.

Hurt by rising prices and economic distress, many talk about the need for “badlav”, some openly, others cautiously. How this plays out depends on the unanswered question in Gujarat 2022: is there an undercurrent for the political newbie, Aam Aadmi Party? -- Neerja Chowdhury writes

Pinning hopes on Rahul, Priyanka on ground, Congress braces for Dec 8 story

In the Congress, meanwhile, there is palpable tension about the results in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls that will be declared on December 8. The party is spending all its energies and focusing all its attention on making the Yatra a success, which, it believes, is getting huge traction. So will it translate into electoral success? Every single leader of the Congress is desperately hoping that “we should at least win one state.” The unsaid fear is that a defeat in both the states, Gujarat and Himachal Pardesh, could deflate the momentum created carefully around the Yatra.

The “one state” they are looking to win is Himachal. Rahul had stayed away from the hill state, but Priyanka invested herself into the Congress’s campaign there. But all eyes are on Gujarat. Not just for Rahul or the Congress, this week is crucial for the Opposition as a whole. The contours of the political opposition which will take on the Narendra Modi juggernaut in 2024 could well be written or rewritten in the wake of the Gujarat election outcome. -- Manoj C G writes

Also Read:

On test in Gujarat: From Modi again spearheading BJP campaign to faceless Cong bid to challenger Kejriwal

‘Accidental CM’ Jairam Thakur may have last laugh as BJP projected to edge out Congress in Himachal Pradesh

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First published on: 08-12-2022 at 06:47 IST
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