Modi wave triggers landslide win for BJP in Gujarat

Wednesday 14th December 2022 05:40 EST

BJP has not only defied 27 years of incumbency in Gujarat but also made history by winning the highest-ever number of seats, and importantly improving on its record for vote share. Clearly, Narendra Modi was the player of the match.

The BJP made electoral history in Gujarat by gaining 156 seats, romping to a blockbuster victory under the direction, inspiration, and script of Prime Minister Modi. Records were broken as the BJP not only put up its best-ever performance but also eclipsed the 149-seat threshold that the Congress set 37 years prior under the direction of former chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki.

Kejriwal’s party pitilessly cut into the Congress’s vote share. But this was not the main reason for the BJP’s phenomenal show as its vote share of 52. 5% was more than that of the Congress (27. 3%) and the AAP (12. 9%) put together.

The AAP's top leaders, including its chief minister Isudan Gadhvi and the state's president Gopal Italia, were all defeated, but the newcomer made a splash in the third state as its candidates demolished the mighty BJP and the Congress on five seats. But in Muslim-dominated seats, the party failed to make any gains.

Caste warriors Hardik Patel (Patidar), Alpesh Thakor (OBC) and Jignesh Mevani (Dalit), whose frenzied agitations had cost the BJP dear in 2017, also won in this election. Hardik tasted his first electoral success, on a BJP ticket. Thakor too brought a seat for the BJP. Mevani managed to scrape through with a margin of 4,000 votes as a Congress candidate.

Given that the BJP had lost 15 seats to the Congress in 2017, the victory in Saurashtra was joyful moment for the party. In reality, the BJP won 40 of the 48 seats, completely upending the opposition, and, more importantly, regaining all five of the seats it had previously lost in Amreli. All three constituencies of Morbi, the site of the horrific bridge collapse tragedy that killed 135, also voted for the BJP. However, AAP candidates stunned the frontrunners on four seats of the region, two of them having a significant number of Patidars.

The biggest surprise was Chhotu Vasava's loss on the Jhagadia seat in the tribal area, which strongly supported the BJP. Chaitar Vasava, a former close aide of his, shocked everyone by resoundingly winning the Dediapada seat on the AAP ticket.

With only three seats won - one by an independent- in the six districts of central Gujarat, the Congress was humiliated. In these districts, the BJP captured the final 36 seats, preventing the AAP from opening its account. During the post-Godhra Hindutva wave, the Congress gained five seats in the districts of Anand and Kheda in 2002, but this defeat was considerably worse.

In south Gujarat, the BJP established its supremacy by winning 33 of the total 35 seats including several tribal segments.

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