Ahmedabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was on Thursday confident of retaining power in Gujarat as officials started counting the millions of votes cast in the two-phase elections.
"We will win at least two-thirds of the (182) seats," Amit Shah, a confidant of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, told a news channel. Others in the party echoed the view.
And in a clear indication that this assessment may not be off the mark, the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) of former BJP chief minister Keshubhai Patel said the Congress should have allied with it.
GPP leader Gordhan Zadaphia said a GPP-Congress alliance could have ousted Modi, who has ruled Gujarat since 2001 and who tweeted on Thursday in the run up to the vote count: "No need to look behind."
The BJP won 117 seats in 2007. Exit polls have predicted a massive win for the BJP in Gujarat.