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Gujarat Assembly Election Results 2022 Highlights: Bhupendra Patel elected legislative party leader, to continue as Chief Minister

Gujarat Election Result 2022 Highlights: This comes after Patel, along with his entire cabinet, tendered their resignation on Friday to pave the way for the formation of a new government in the state after the ruling BJP’s landslide victory in the Assembly elections.

Bhupendra Patel celebrates the BJP's victory in the Gujarat Assembly polls, in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Gujarat Legislative Assembly Election Result 2022 Highlights: Bhupendra Patel will continue as Gujarat Chief Minister for a second term after he was elected legislative party leader in a meeting of BJP MLAs on Saturday.

This comes after Patel, along with his entire cabinet, tendered their resignation on Friday to pave the way for the formation of a new government in the state after the ruling BJP’s landslide victory in the Assembly elections. Patel will be sworn in on December 12, and the oath-taking ceremony will take place at 2 pm on Monday in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

With Gujarat voting the BJP back for the seventh straight time, this election has made history in the state. The key takeaways of the 2022 election are the formidable, undiminished sway PM 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. Although the AAP could not put up a great show in the state, the glimmer for the party was the 12.9-per cent vote share, five seats in the House — and that it had emerged as a national party.

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Live Blog

Gujarat Election Result Live Updates: Gujarat voted the BJP back for the seventh straight time; Although the AAP could not put up a great show, its 12.9-per cent vote share meant it had emerged as a national party

14:11 (IST)10 Dec 2022
CR Paatil, key to BJP Gujarat success, headed for bigger things

With the BJP holding on to Gujarat with its highest margin ever, the spotlight is on the role its state chief Chandrakant Raghunath Paatil, popularly known as CR Paatil, will assume going forward.

BJP state chief Chandrakant Raghunath Paatil is popularly known as CR Paatil

Paatil, who was appointed state chief in July 2020, first set a target of winning “all 182 seats” in the state. The party went on to reconfigure this around the 1985’s Congress’s record of 149 seats, and eventually surpassed the count by winning 156, including the seven in the Navrasi Lok Sabha constituency that Paatil represents.

BJP functionaries that spoke to The Indian Express said they believed that the party high command will certainly be giving Paatil “a bigger role, most probably at the national level”. (Read more)

13:29 (IST)10 Dec 2022
Just in

Bhupendra Patel will continue as Gujarat Chief Minister for a second term after he was elected legislative party leader in a meeting of BJP MLAs on Saturday. (PTI)

12:41 (IST)10 Dec 2022
The 2002 ‘link’ in 2022 results: 2 BJP candidates increase their victory margins

The Gujarat elections, which were swept by the BJP in a historic result, also saw the party’s candidates directly or indirectly connected with the 2002 riots win their seats. Those not fighting on BJP tickets, though, were not as lucky.

While C K Raulji sealed his win from Godhra with a margin of over 35,000 votes, Payal Kukrani, the daughter of Naroda Patiya riot convict Manoj Kukrani, won from the Naroda seat. (File Photos)

Godhra MLA C K Raulji, who had won the seat with a narrow margin after defecting from the Congress, won this time expanding his lead substantially, and personally besting his winning margin.

The BJP had deployed its star campaigners, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Ministers Yogi Adityanath and Himanta Biswa Sarma, to campaign in the constituencies of Naroda and Godhra, while Union Home Minister Amit Shah made several references to the 2002 riots in his speeches, including saying that “the rioters had been taught a lesson”. (Read more)

12:09 (IST)10 Dec 2022
Women representation rises in Gujarat Assembly, but success rate drops

Dropping from 59 per cent, the success rate of women candidates in the 2022 Gujarat Assembly elections, which recorded 40 female candidates from all four political parties, reduced to 37.5 per cent as only 15 women candidates made it to the House.

Among these 15 newly elected women MLAs, 14 won from the largest political party (BJP), which had fielded 17 women candidates, followed by one out of 14 contesting from the Congress. Not a single woman candidate from AAP, which had fielded seven candidates, and none of the two AIMIM candidates could make it to the House. (Read more)

11:08 (IST)10 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.

BJP supporters gather outside a counting centre at Gandhi College in Surat (Express photo)

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. (Read more)

09:52 (IST)10 Dec 2022
How BJP set its house right in Gujarat but not in Himachal Pradesh

The BJP’s record-breaking victory in Gujarat illustrates the success of its booth micromanagement, complimenting the popularity and trust PM Narendra Modi enjoys among the electorate. Over in Himachal Pradesh, the absence of a similar strategy and organisational failure to effect timely changes could have cost it the state.

BJP president J P Nadda at Parliament, Friday. (Express Photo by Anil Sharma)

 

In Gujarat, Modi campaigned extensively, building on the organisational strategy devised by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the ground prepared by state unit president C R Paatil. A senior party leader said: “Micromanagement is the BJP’s style, but in Gujarat, the entry of the Aam Aam Party, splitting the anti-BJP votes, helped. Rahul Gandhi’s disengagement with the anti-BJP movement in the state and the local Congress leadership’s disinterest just added to it.” (Read more)

08:43 (IST)10 Dec 2022
Opinion | BJP’s victory in Gujarat has an afterlife that we must pay attention to

If Gujarat exemplifies the current invincibility of the BJP with almost double the vote share of its nearest rival in the state, Himachal Pradesh too brings into sharp focus the difficulties in displacing the BJP — Congress and BJP are practically tied there in terms of vote share. Both assembly outcomes alert us to the fact that the second dominant party system that emerged in 2014 is not showing any signs of decline. In a system dominated by one party, expectations of the Opposition often hinge on the ultimate possibility of voter fatigue if not voter response to genuine economic woes. Such expectations tend to ignore the capacity of the dominant party to keep the voters hooked to its rhetoric and leadership.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and party's state president CR Paatil celebrate the party's win in the Gujarat Assembly elections, in Gandhinagar on Thursday. (PTI Photo)

 

In the latest round of assembly elections, the two results go in two different directions. Therefore, critics of the BJP are likely to exaggerate the example of Himachal Pradesh and refuse to learn from the Gujarat results. While it would be misleading to read too much in the outcome in Himachal, the greater mistake will be to not understand the Gujarat outcome for its real message. (Read more)

07:34 (IST)10 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.

Imran Khedawala from the Jamalpur Kheda seat is the only Muslim MLA in Gujarat (Facebook: Imran Khedawala)

 

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. (Read more)

More from Elections
22:24 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Raghavji Patel bucks the trend of agriculture ministers losing polls in Gujarat

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.

Raghavji defeated Prakash Donga, his main challenger from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), by 47,500 votes. Raghavji polled 79,439 votes, while Donga got 31,939, Kasam Khafi (BSP) 29,162, and Jivan Kumbharvadiya (Congress) 18,737.

In the past, agriculture ministers, who would mostly be from Saurashtra, lost elections during the 27-year BJP reign. Parsottam Rupala, agriculture minister in the first Narendra Modi government, had lost the 2002 Assembly election to Paresh Dhanani of Congress from Amreli seat. In 2007, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, the then agriculture minister in the second Modi government, had lost to Kanji Talapada from Dholka Assembly seat in Ahmedabad district. In the 2012 Assembly election, then agriculture minister Dilip Sanghani had lost to Paresh Dhanani of Congress. Chiman Sapariya, the then incumbent agriculture minister had failed to retain his Jamjodhpur seat in Jamnagar district in 2017, while Chirag Kalairya of Congress emerged victorious. This election, Sapariya was defeated by Hemant Khava of AAP, while Kalariya, the sitting MLA, was relegated to third position.

Gopal B Kateshiya reports

21:59 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Don’t know why Congress did not use me enough: Jignesh Mevani

With the Congress ending up with its worst performance in Gujarat, dropping to 17 seats from 77 last time, its newly elected Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani said he regretted that the party “did not use me enough” during the elections.

Having scraped through in Vadgam against the BJP’s Manibhai Vaghela, Mevani, who is also the working president of the Gujarat Congress, told The Indian Express Friday: “I strongly feel I could have been used in a much better way; not after I filed my nomination, but much earlier. I fail to understand that when they (the Congress) have a face like me, who can catch people’s imagination, who has credibility, who is solidly anti-BJP and has a good following, why could he not address public meetings across the state?… Jan sabha karvana chahiye tha (Public meetings should have been held), to energise the people, the Dalits.”

A Dalit leader who rose to prominence in the wake of the Una incident, and won his first election as an Independent backed by the Congress in 2017, Mevani ran an energetic campaign. Another young, charismatic leader of the Congress, Kanhaiya Kumar, turned up to campaign for him along with Rajya Sabha MP Imran Pratapgarhi.

Leena Misra writes

21:41 (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.

Parimal A Dabhi writes

21:38 (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. 

 Zeeshan Shaikh writes

21:35 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Day after, Congress blames Gujarat unit, says no fault of Gandhis

A day after the Congress was decimated in Gujarat, the party’s central leadership on Friday blamed the state unit for the defeat, saying the result was a “very sad reflection” on the state’s organisation. Promising introspection, the party said it was time to bring in a new leadership and take tough decisions.

The party forcefully argued that the absence of Rahul Gandhi from the campaign in Gujarat – he had addressed only two token rallies in Surat and Rajkot – had not impacted the outcome. The party said there were shortcomings in the Congress campaign and in the local leadership.

In the same breath, the party argued that the Congress had scored a “major victory” in 2017 when it managed to restrict the BJP to below 100. In 2017, Rahul had led a spirited campaign with the same set of local leaders powering the Congress to 77 and bringing down the BJP to 99. Read more

19:05 (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. The BJP registered a historic victory by clinching 156 seats.

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.

"But when I realised the party would not give me a ticket for the 2022 assembly elections, I had to switch sides to JD(U)," he said.

Consoling himself while referring to some candidates from other constituencies, who got less than 100 votes, Pathan, an electrician by profession, said, "I didn't expect such a pathetic response but I want to accept it as people's verdict." (PTI)

19:04 (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.

In Waghodia constituency in Vadodara district, the ruling party replaced sitting MLA Madhu Shrivastava with Ashvin Patel. Shrivastava, a six-time MLA, then jumped into the fray as an independent.

Dharmendrasinh Vaghela, another aspirant for the BJP ticket, also contested as an independent and defeated Patel by nearly 14,000 votes. Shrivastava ended fourth with 14,645 votes while Congress candidate received 18,870 votes.

But everywhere else the BJP newcomers managed to sail through.

Prominent MLAs who were dropped by the party in 2022 included former chief minister Rupani, former deputy CM Nitin Patel, former home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja, former revenue minister Kaushikbhai Patel, speaker of the outgoing Assembly Nimaben Acharya and former Gujarat BJP president R C Faldu.

Gujarat BJP president C R Paatil had defended the decision before the polls, saying that change is necessary in electoral democracy for avoiding stagnation. (PTI)

19:03 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Gujarat results 'very disappointing'; time for introspection, tough decisions: Congress

A day after its drubbing in the Gujarat assembly elections, the Congress on Friday blamed the state leadership for the poor showing and said it is time to introspect as well as take "tough decisions".

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh also accused the Aam Aadmi Party and the AIMIM of colluding with the BJP, saying they were "informal alliance partners" of the ruling party.

He, however, said in Himachal Pradesh the Congress put up a good show despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's high decibel campaign.

"For us, the Gujarat results show the need for introspection and for taking tough decisions. In Gujarat the election results have been very disappointing and are far below our expectations. It is a very sad reflection on the state's organisation," he told reporters.

Asked who were responsible for the poor performance of Congress in Gujarat, Ramesh said the local leadership and admitted there were shortcomings in the party's campaign there.

"There have been shortcomings in Gujarat unit and we will have to work on them. In the next election, our vote share would come back to 40 per cent," the Congress leader claimed.

"The BJP has lost miserably in Himachal Pradesh, given the fact that the prime minister campaigned extensively besides BJP president J P Nadda and Union minister Anurag Thakur, both of who hail from Himachal, the BJP has still lost," Ramesh alleged.

He also blamed the AAP and the AIMIM for the poor performance of Congress, saying both the parties were BJP's "informal alliance partners" in Gujarat.

"(AIMIM chief Asaduddin) Owaisi's role in our politics has became amply clear. Both the AAP and AIMIM have been getting the active support of the BJP and they have cut into the Congress vote bank," he said.

Ramesh also said that an atmosphere of fear was created in Gujarat to ensure that many sections of society who supported the Congress do not come out and vote.

"In Himachal, we have won even though our vote share is less," he said, adding that winning 40 seats out of 68 is a big thing to achieve against a formidable BJP.

He credited the Congress' promise to restore the old pension scheme as one of the primary reasons for the party's success in Himachal. He said the party leadership was committed to implement it at the earliest. (PTI)

19:02 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Rajnath, Yediyurappa, Arjun Munda central observers for BJP MLAs' meet to pick Gujarat CM

Senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh, B S Yediyurappa and Arjun Munda were appointed on Friday as central observers for the meeting of the party's new MLAs in Gujarat to pick the next chief minister.

The BJP registered a historic victory in Gujarat on Thursday by clinching 156 seats in the 182-member House.

The BJP has called a meeting of its newly elected legislators on Saturday morning to elect the legislature party leader who will be the next chief minister.

The BJP has announced earlier that Bhupendra Patel will continue as its chief minister in the state. (PTI)

18:05 (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.

Read The Neerja Chowdhury Column here

16:09 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Sangitaben Patil registers third win in Gujarat’s Limbayat, kin in Maharashtra hope she becomes minister

Sangita Rajendra Patil (46), who hails from Maharashtra’s Pachora tehsil, registered an impressive win from Surat’s Limbayat Assembly constituency on Thursday. Sangita, or Sangitaben as she is now called, married into a Maharashtrian family in Surat about 30 years ago and is now a third-time BJP MLA.

“I am proud of my Maharashtrian roots,” Sangita told The Indian Express over phone from Surat. “Yesterday, in my celebratory rally I deliberately wore Maharashtrian clothes and jewellery,” she added.

Sangita won her first election in 2012. On Thursday, she defeated her closest rival, Aam Aadmi Party’s Pankajbhai Tayade by over 57,000 votes while Congress’s Gopal Patil stood a distant third.

Sangita hails from Sarve village in Pachora tehsil of Jalgaon district. Her father served as a policeman and had six children, four daughters and a son. In 1995, Sangita married Rajendra Patil, whose family hailed from Maharashtra’s Dhule. Her in-laws stayed in Limbayat area of Surat, which is known to house migrants from Maharashtra’s Khandesh area.

Pavan Khengre writes

15:20 (IST)09 Dec 2022
Gujarat polls: 15 women candidates emerge victorious in 2022, two more than 2017; 14 of them from BJP

The number of women candidates winning the Gujarat Assembly polls rose marginally as 15 of them emerged victorious this time as compared to 13 in the last election.

Out of the 15 winners, 14 belong to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while one is from the Congress. A total of 139 women candidates from different political parties and independents were in the fray this time.

In 2012, the number of winning women candidates stood at 16. In the 2017 election, 13 women had won. But one of them died in December 2021, after which the seat fell vacant.

This time, the BJP had given tickets to a total of 18 women, while the grand old party had fielded 14 such candidates.

Some of these successful BJP women candidates attributed their victory to the hard work of party workers and the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP chief C R Paatil.

BJP's Sangita Patil, who won from Limbayat in Surat city, credited her victory to the page committee.

"Because of the 'brahmastra' of the page committee, party workers consulted every household. Thanks to that, BJP got this positive result in the entire state. The hard work of PM Modi, organisational skill of C R Paatil and developmental work of CM Bhupendra Patel also paid off," she told reporters.

Bhanuben Babaria, who clinched the Rajkot Rural seat as a BJP nominee, hailed the hard work of party workers for the saffron outfit's resounding victory.

"People are happy with the way PM Modi is working in the country. They are experiencing peace and prosperity. People are happy with the leadership of (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah, C R Paatil and CM Bhupendra Patel," she said.

In the elections held on December 1 and 5, the BJP won 156 seats, 17 went to Congress and five to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Both the the BJP and Congress accommodated more number of Dalit and Tribal women candidates this time as compared to the 2017 elections. Four of the winning women candidates are from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community and two belong to the Scheduled Tribe (ST).

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had fielded five women candidates, and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 12. None of them could make it to the state assembly.

Six of the successful women candidates are sitting MLAs, including all the five of the BJP and one of Congress.

In Rajkot West, which was held by former chief minister Vijay Rupani, BJP candidate Dr Darshita Shah defeated her nearest rival from Congress Mansukh Kalariya by a victory margin of 1.05 lakh votes.

In the Vadodara (city) seat, the victory margin for sitting MLA Manisha Vakil was over 98,000. (PTI)

Minutes after the Election Commission of India started releasing the Gujarat trends on Thursday morning, large banners came up outside the Aam Aadmi Party’s Delhi headquarters, announcing that the party, formed in 2012 on the back of a powerful anti-corruption movement, has turned “national”. But attaining the national status was the least that the AAP was hoping to achieve after having led an aggressive campaign in Gujarat, where the nature of electoral contests has been bipolar in nature ever since the formation of the state in 1960.

POLITICAL PULSE | For AAP, well begun is half done in Gujarat

If Gujarat exemplifies the current invincibility of the BJP with almost double the vote share of its nearest rival in the state, Himachal Pradesh too brings into sharp focus the difficulties in displacing the BJP — Congress and BJP are practically tied there in terms of vote share. Both assembly outcomes alert us to the fact that the second dominant party system that emerged in 2014 is not showing any signs of decline. In a system dominated by one party, expectations of the Opposition often hinge on the ultimate possibility of voter fatigue if not voter response to genuine economic woes. Such expectations tend to ignore the capacity of the dominant party to keep the voters hooked to its rhetoric and leadership.

In the latest round of assembly elections, the two results go in two different directions. Therefore, critics of the BJP are likely to exaggerate the example of Himachal Pradesh and refuse to learn from the Gujarat results. While it would be misleading to read too much in the outcome in Himachal, the greater mistake will be to not understand the Gujarat outcome for its real message.

EXPRESS OPINION | Suhas Palshikar writes: BJP’s victory in Gujarat has an afterlife that we must pay attention to

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intense campaign and a meticulously planned organisation strategy, the party, which was limited to 99 five years ago, is on course to win more than 150 seats — more than its highest tally of 127 so far — and eclipse the Congress’s record of 149 seats in the 1985 Assembly polls that came on the back of a sympathy wave created by Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

Unlike in 2017, when the Congress launched a massive campaign and legwork to capitalise on a strong Patidar agitation and widespread anger among the farmer community against the then BJP government, the party did not have any major mass movement to deal with. But the anti-incumbency was strong and there has been complacency and fatigue among the cadre.

ALSO READ | Behind BJP’s record performance in Gujarat, an agile leadership and Modi-Shah factor

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First published on: 08-12-2022 at 06:19 IST
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