The BJP scored a phenomenal victory in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, smashing the Congress’s record in a strong performance ahead of the 2024 national election. The Congress, pulverized in Gujarat, won in Himachal Pradesh.
Here are 10 big updates on Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh election results:
- The BJP has won 97 seats and is leading in 59 seats in Gujarat in yet another super-sized victory powered by PM Modi. It is set to win close to 160 of 182 seats, the best-ever for any party in the state.
- The Congress, which delivered a strong performance in 2017, dropped to its worst Gujarat tally ever, less than 20. With a dispirited and belated campaign, the party had “conceded” long before the election.
- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal celebrated the silver lining after a disappointing show in Gujarat (five) and Himachal Pradesh (zero) – its “national party” status because of the Gujarat vote share.
- Despite its energetic, all-in campaign, AAP failed to dent the BJP in “Fort Modi”. What it did was to eat into the Congress’s votes, effectively helping the BJP rack up an even bigger total.
- The BJP has not lost in Gujarat since 1995. Remarkably, the party has not faced anti-incumbency in its 27-year rule.
- Bhupendra Patel, who took over as Chief Minister a year ago, will be sworn in for a second term on December 12 (Monday). Home Minister Amit Shah had said Mr Patel would return as Chief Minister if the BJP won again.
- In Himachal Pradesh, after an early scare, the Congress won 40 seats, a comfortable majority, with the BJP at 25. AAP didn’t win a single seat.
- The BJP had been banking on the achievements of PM Modi for a smooth transition to a record second term in Himachal Pradesh, even though the state diligently swings between the BJP and the Congress every five years.
- Even if AAP does not manage a double-digit tally, its foothold in Gujarat is expected to bring a change in the binary politics of Gujarat and present the BJP with a more persistent and strategic opponent than the Congress. Party leaders have already said that this election marks the beginning of AAP’s journey as a national party.
- The Congress, focused on its big picture Bharat Jodo Yatra, was seen as putting up a token campaign in Gujarat, where it won 77 seats in 2017, and in Himachal Pradesh, where the trend of the last few decades gives it a bonus point. In Delhi civic polls — which had more voters than in Himachal Pradesh — the Congress won only nine seats.