Modi’s massive win in Gujarat, Congress defeats BJP in Himachal
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday achieved a hat-trick by retaining his state with a massive win, but the BJP lost power in Himachal Pradesh to Congress as was generally expected.
Counting in the two States began this morning. The BJP took an early lead and the Congress trailed from the beginning.
Modi’s impressive win raised the prospects of becoming BJP's prime ministerial candidate. The BJP may touch a score of 121 seats in the 182-member assembly. when the final results are declared. Congress may end with around 60 seats.
Former chief minister Keshubhai Patel's GPP on which the Congress hoped to defeat Modi fared very badly. The BJP looked set to marginally improve on its tally of 117 in the 2007 elections. The Congress had won 59 in the last elections.
However, the BJP lost Himachal Pradesh, a state which has stuck to its habit of voting out an incumbent government. The Congress, which put up a spirited campaign under former chief minister Virbhadra Singh, is all set to return to power in the hill state. The party has already won 29 seats and was leading in seven seats in the 68-member Assembly. BJP has won 16 seats and was leading in 10. 'Others' led in two having won four. Congress had won 23 seats and BJP 41 in the 2007 polls.
BJP MP Smriti Irani openly declared that Modi is her Prime Ministerial candidate. However, the party was cautious to comment on the issue. Suspended MP Ram Jethmalani said that the victory has "definitely" strengthened Modi's contention for being the PM candidate.
Chief spokesperson of BJP Ravi Shankar Prasad, however, parried questions on the issue saying Modi has always been an important leader in the party. "We are not a dynastic party, which is led by a Yuavaraj. We function in a pure democratic fashion," he said.
In a significant comment, Modi tweeted that it was time to move "forward". "No need of looking behind...FORWARD...we want infinite energy, infinite courage, infinite patience..." Modi said on the microblogging site Twitter.
Modi won from Maninagar Assembly constituency by over 86,373 votes trouncing Congress rival Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt. Modi polled 1,20,470 votes, while Bhatt got 34,097 votes. He had last time won the elections by over 87,000 votes.
Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia, seeking third consecutive term from Porbandar constituency, was defeated by his BJP rival Babu Bokhiria by a margin of 17,146 votes. Modhwadia had won 2002 and 2007 polls from this constituency.
- Asian Tribune -