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Is It A Defeat In Victory For BJP In Gujarat?

18 December 2017

Soumya Ranjan Sahoo

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Bhubaneswar: Even though incumbent BJP Government has once again won the Gujurat assembly elections for yet another consecutive term trouncing its arch rival Congress, the evidently unexpected neck and neck contest Congress posed led by Rahul Gandhi this time to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his home turf as well as in the saffron party’s stronghold has been dubbed by poll pundits as ‘Pyrrhic victory’.

The BJP, led by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi, had won 116 seats out of total 182 seats and had formed the Government while INC (Congress) had won 60 seats in the 2012 assembly polls.

Notably, BJP has been in the power in Gujarat since 1995.

Even though the Exit Poll had projected sweeping victory for the ruling BJP, trend after the counting has gone apparently awry as had been expected and bragged.

Till the filing of this story, the latest Gujarat tally had been: BJP-99, Congress-80 and others before the conclusive calculation.

Venting his views on the Gujarat assembly election results, senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “The outcome evinces that it is equivalent to a defeat for BJP despite being victorious. While it can be termed as defeat for BJP whithin its victory, it’s victory in its defeat for the Congress party.”

“The way BJP had a massive win target and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had steered the election campaign along with the party’s strategist Amit Shah apart from the entire government machinery, it can also be dubbed as a mandate against the BJP. It is a great lesson and warning for BJP in view of the upcoming elections in 2018 and 2019. Anti-incumbency can be a factor, but the major one is that the people have sent the message of rejection though Prime Minister Narendra Modi hails from the State and now leads the nation,” he remarked.

He further commented, “It proves that somewhere Modi’s policy takes a setback and lacks public appeal.His popularity has declined. We can take it as an indicator prior to the 2019 general elections and future political trend.”

In his reactions, Odisha unit BJP general secretary Bhrugu Baxipatra said, “It is not only concerned with the results of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, it is an indicator for the entire country and Odisha. BJP’s development and pro-people policies have been accepted by one and all. In the coming days, these two results will certainly have an impact on the national politics as well as Odisha politics.”

“In comparison to the vote percentage (48%) bagged by BJP last time, this time it has increased considerably. Till now the statistics indicated 49%. Had it been 50%, you projected figure would have definitely been surpassed. There the direct fight was between BJP and Congress. Votes of all small parties have been consolidated in favour of Congress there. Despite that, BJP is going to form the Government. Jo jita wohi sikander,” the BJP leader remarked.

Even though BJD supremo and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh electoral victories, ruling BJD spokesperson Samir Dash, on the other hand, commented, “Whatever BJP had hoped in Gujarat has certainly got dashed. Even though the entire Union Cabinet led by the Prime Minister campaigned in Gujarat for months together, BJP may form government but the result is disappointing. There is no more Modi wave as tomtommed by the BJP workers.”

“It has got no impact on Odisha. Our main agenda is development. Our dear Chief Minister has implemented schemes and programmes for each and every individual belonging to various categories in our society. The schemes and programmes have been accepted very much by the people of Odisha. BJD will once again form government here for the fifth consecutive term led by hon’ble Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik,” he claimed.

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Prasanna Mohanty, Senior Journalist, Odisha

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Bhrugu Baxipatra, General Secretary, BJP, Odisha

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Samir Dash, Spokesperson, BJD, Odisha