PM Modi's brother offers prayers at Dwarkadhish Temple after BJP's win in Gujarat

The BJP clinched the Gujarat Assembly polls sixth time in a row winning 99 seats in the 182-member House.

PM Modi's brother offers prayers at Dwarkadhish Temple after BJP's win in Gujarat
Pic courtesy: ANI

Dwarka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi brother's Prahlad visited Dwarkadhish Temple on Wednesday to offer prayers after BJP's win.

Surmounting the incumbency factor, attempted caste-based social engineering by the Congress and perceived anger over the GST, the BJP clinched the Gujarat Assembly polls sixth time in a row on December 18, winning 99 seats in the 182-member House.

The saffron party's tally, however, was 16 less than 115 in the previous election. It is also for the first time it has slipped below the 100 mark since the BJP formed its maiden government on its own in 1995. It was in a coalition government with the Janata Dal in 1990 but the two parted ways soon.

The Congress, which had won 61 seats in the previous elections, made handsome gains, adding 16 seats to its tally.

Reacting to the results, BJP chief Amit Shah said that though the BJP lost about 15 seats, its vote share rose by a little over 1 percent to 49.1 percent compared to the 2012 Assembly polls.

The Congress's vote share also went up to 41.4 percent - a two percent increase.

Though the number of seats won by the Congress and its vote share went up significantly with assistance from three young turks - Patidar, OBC and Dalit leaders Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mewani - it was not enough to unseat the BJP.

The BJP's strong showing in cities like Ahmedabad, Surat and Rajkot, having a large concentration of the trading community, can be seen as an endorsement of PM Modi's economic reform agenda.

There were a few setbacks for the BJP on its way to triumph, with five of its ministers, including two of the Cabinet rank - Chimanbhai Saparia and Atmaram Parmar losing.

Significantly, the ruling BJP lost Unjha seat of Mehsana district, a constituency which includes PM Modi's hometown Vadnagar.

A clutch of senior Congress leaders, including Shaktisinh Gohil, Arjun Modhvadia, Siddarth Patel and Tushar Chaudhary, also lost.

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani retained the Rajkot West seat, defeating Congress' Indranil Rajyaguru by over 53,000 votes. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel defeated Congress candidate Jivabhai Patel in Mehsana.

The BJP's tally of seats was the highest in the 2002 Assembly polls when the party had won 127 seats. It had clinched 121 in 1995, 117 in 1998, 117 in 2007 and 115 in 2012.

The seat tally of 77 this time is the Congress' highest since 1995 when it had won 45 seats. The party clinched 53 seats in 1998, 51 in 2002, 59 in 2007 and 61 in 2012. 

(With PTI inputs)

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