No doubt BJP has limped past 92–seat mark in Gujrat for the sixth term , it may turn out to be turning moment for the Rahul Gandhi led Congress. The Congress apparently more energised under spirited Rahul Gandhi gave Modi –Amit shah combine a fright and dreadful fight.
The elections have generated several trends indicating greater polarization of the voters .
BJP’s tally falling from 115 to 99, and Congress tally increasing from61 to 80.
Interestingly the vote share increasing for both , 1.1% for BJP and 2.4% for The Congress. The increase in vote share has given Congress more seats whereas the increase has reduced the seat tally for BJP.
URBAN – RURAL DIVIDE
The Urban –Rural divide has come to the forefront .
The voter participation in rural areas increased around 5% ( 70.6 percent against 65 percent) from that of Rural areas.
BJP has been practically saved by its stellar performance in its four major cities , Surat, Ahemdabad, Rajkot ,Vadodara winning 46 of 55 seats.
But elsewhere BJP lagging behind Congress ; (out of 127 seats Congress winning 71 seats and BJP only 53 seats.)
Congress’s tally was accentuated by its performance in Saurashtra , a region distressed due to low prices for cotton, and other agriculture products , thus winning confidence of patels .
The other significant developments are as follows
The emergence of troika leaders –, Hardik Patel , Alpesh Thakor , Jignes Mevani has led to shifting of Patels and other traditional caste voters from BJP to Congress in an unprecedented manner.
The Rich Patels mostly Urban staying with BJP and the Kadwa Patels shifting to Congress thus BJP losing huge vote bank in North Gujrat and Saurashtra.
Rahul Gandhi successfully got rid of Shanker Vaghela, the chief of Congress party, well before elections , and led the consistent well organized campaign . Rahul succeeded in mobilizing the three young leaders ,Hardik Patel , Alpesh (joined Congress) and Jignesh Patel taking their support by assuring them of meeting their demands.
RAHUL GANDHI TEMPLE RUNS
The strategy of the resolute Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to embark upon Temple runs ,yielded tangible results for his Party.
Rahul Gandhi has visited around 27 temples across Gujrat
ignoring accusations of following soft Hindutva policies.
Interestingly His temple runs won 18 seats from the temple constituencies.
BJP’s successive victory, sixth in a row is commendable .
It shows undoubtedly Modi and Amit shah ‘s pragmatic approach and relentless efforts to ward off successfully discontents on several fronts ,Patels OBCs,Dalits, hangover of demonetization, and GST yieded results.
It is emphatically clear that voters still endure the personal identification with Modiji in his home turf.
He vigorously campaigned in his personal capacity throwing his heart and soul into the state elections especially in the last days of his campaign forgetting that he is the Prime Minister of the country. The stakes in Gujrat election were high to taste the defeat and he managed to use all kind of rhetorics including the references alleged anti- national collusions of congress leaders with Pakistan ,playing son of soil card to his advantage against Rahul .
He thus managed to scrape through the slender majority and regain his home state.
Both parties have need for introspection and thus move forward to strengthen the democracy of India.
BJP needs to listen to the grievances of the rural region to bolster its chances to stay in power otherwise it could create enough crescendo to unseat it in future. This time urban cities have saved Gujrat from eminent dismal defeat whose support couldn’t be taken for granted.
Congress needs to understand that the climb is steep and address to its shortcomings at the earliest. Rahul may talk about moral victory but winning the election is what matters. Congress suffers from lack of party structure and Rahul Gandhi has duty to develop own state leaders with Credibility and continue to strike a chord with public for all times to come.