Congress takes Himachal Pradesh, BJP retains Gujarat

In a major development which can have long-term effects on Indian politics, the Congress managed to snatch Himachal Pradesh from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with some experts calling it the waning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party.

And the defeat wasn’t limited to the northern mountainous state as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the elections for New Delhi’s Municipal Corporation, thus ousting the BJP from the local government after 15 years by winning 40 out 68 seats with the ruling party’s strength reduced to 25.

However, the BJP not only retain the government in Gujarat but also increased its majority in the state assembly to 156 in the 182-member legislature. Congress was a distant second with 17 seats while AAP grabbed five for the first time in Gujarat’s history.

The BJP is in power in Gujarat since 1995. It is accused of communal hatred to energise and bond the party voters as the state is still reeling from the 2002 riots when Modi was the chief minister.

Recently, BJP leader Amit Shah told an election rally that they had taught them a lesson in 2002 under the leadership of Modi.  

In his reaction to the victory in New Delhi, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said: “This is the fourth election we have won in Delhi on the issues of electricity, water, education and health. Only AAP is practicing positive politics in the country today. To make India number 1, we need positivity; we need to focus on schools, hospitals, electricity, water and other issues that affect the common man.”

Although the BJP is now presenting the landslide victory in Gujarat as Modi’s magic, the question remains: why did it work in Gujarat but not in Himachal Pradesh and New Delhi.

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