The BJP leads in Gujarat has crossed 150 — a record in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, surpassing the Congress score of 149 in 1985. Back then, Madhavsinh Solanki rose the social coalition KHAM (Koli Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim). Today, the Grand Old Party might be headed for its worst score ever, confined to teens by the massive BJP surge.
While the score appeared to bear out speculation that AAP’s entry had acted as a catalyst, BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya rubbished the possibility.
“In Gujarat, it is Modi Ji’s tapasya (hard work),” he told NDTV in an exclusive interview, crediting the Prime Minister, who led the campaign with more than 30 rallies since the election was announced.
The BJP’s former state minister Jai Narayan Vyas, however, sounded a discordant note. “BJP winning in Gujarat was not unexpected, the question was how many seats it will get. My personal belief is the BJP will climb down to 125 seats and the rest of the seats will go to Congress and AAP. But the BJP has done very well,” he told reporters.
AAP, which had conducted an all-out campaign and won the civic polls in Delhi in a straight fight with the BJP, appears set to open account in Gujarat, barely. While party chief Arvind Kejriwal had predicted an out and out victory yesterday, after the civic poll results were declared, so far, AAP leads have practically been confined to single digits.
The BJP had earlier brushed off the AAP challenge, saying they will figure nowhere in the election. In his rallies, PM Modi has made no reference to AAP.
Asked if the BJP’s Gujarat victory act as their plank for 2024, Mr Vijayvargiya said, “every election has different issues”.