The people's verdict for the Gujarat and Himachal Assembly elections is out and the BJP came out victorious with a thumping majority in both these states. The BJP won a staggering 99 of the 182 assembly seats romping home to power in convincing fashion. The party also secured a landslide victory in Himachal Pradesh winning 44 of the 68 Assembly seats.
The Gujaratis have once again restored confidence in the ruling BJP, voting them back to power for the sixth consecutive time. The Saffron party thereby held on to its political fortress, which has been with them for over two decades.
Poll trends which emerged early morning indicated a neck to neck fight between BJP and the Congress but as the projections become clearer through the day, BJP surged ahead and crossed the majority mark of 92 seats with relative ease.
Touted as a battle of prestige between PM Narendra Modi and newly elected president Rahul Gandhi, the former has drawn first blood with the BJP retaining its political bastion.
Congress would draw consolation from their performances in the region of Saurashtra and Kutch where they gained a significant chunk of the BJP's pie. Meanwhile BJP held onto their strong vote base of Central and Northern Gujarat despite a growing resentment against PM Modi's economic reforms namely GST and demonetization, which looked to tilt the tide towards the Congress's side.
The on-ground chemistry between Congress and Patidar leader Hardik Patel dint reap many benefits to counter the Modi juggernaut which still casts a spell around the electorate in Gujarat. The fourteen questions posed by Rahul Gandhi to Modi highlighting the so called 'negligent BJP governance' on serious issues like rising unemployment, dismal farmers state and insecurity among the Dalits were left to mere speeches but did not translate into garnering seats for his party.
There have been major breakthroughs in the political landscape with young turks - Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani and Congress leader Alpesh Thakur securing thumping wins from their resp. assembly seats. So a new horizon into the political landscape cannot be completely ruled out.
All the big BJP stalwarts held onto their assembly seats. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani won his Rajkot West seat while Gujarat Deputy CM Nitinbhai Patel clinched the Mahesana assembly seat.
Meanwhile some of the big guns like Congress Arjunbhai Devabhai Modhvadiya saw the eye of defeat.
HIMACHAL PRADESH POLLS
The anti-incumbency against the ruling Congress paid dearly for the Grand Old Party as BJP romped home to power in the hill state. BJP scripted a landslide victory winning 44 of the 68 Assembly seats. However there was a major casualty to BJP as its CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal lost the Sujanpur seat by over 3000 votes.
So in a nutshell if one were to analyse the Assembly poll results, did the Modi wave overcome the on ground realities prevailing in the poll bound states or did the Congress not have a strong enough narrative to rally the people behind them. Many debates around the same shall hog the limelight over the course in the next week or so.