Ahmedabad, Dec 23: Narendra Modi has done it again. The BJP has won nearly 2/3rd majority with 117 seats, while the main opposition Congress has had to settle with around 60 in the 182-member assembly. Modi referred to the huge electoral success as a victory for the 5.5 crore people of Gujarat and a “positive mandate” that defeated the campaign of negativism. Modi will be sworn in as the Chief Minister for the third time on December 25.
Modi, who campaigned tirelessly across the length and the breadth of Gujarat with little support from the party, RSS, VHP or the BKS, had turned the election into a one-man show.
Immediately after the trends started coming in, Modi, therefore clearly in a celebratory mood, sent out an SMS message asserting, “I was the CM, I will remain the CM. For me CM means Common Man.”
The figures speak for themselves. Beating anti-incumbency, the BJP got about 48% vote share slightly, just 2% less from the last time. Though not too far behind, the Congress has got around 42%, up 3%.
The mandate seemed more like a wave that cut across all issues like caste equations, dissidence and rural-urban divide. The BJP that normally does better in urban constituencies got good results from the countryside as well.
The party also made surprising gains in Saurashtra and South Gujarat that are considered the bastion of Modi’s bete noire Keshubhai Patel. Clearly the Patels and Kolis were won over by some last minute deft selection of Patel candidates by the Chief Minister.
Internal dissidence that threatened party’s poll prospects also seemed to have been tamed with most rebels fairing poorly.
Unexpectedly the BJP, which had swept Central Gujarat the last time, lost some ground there. Interestingly, the party has not done as well in the riot affected areas of 2002. The BJP candidate has lost in Godhra.
Personally, Modi beat the Congress`s candidate Dinsha Patel hands down by 87000 votes in Maninagar constituency.
The Moditva brand that combined Hindutva, development and personal integrity clearly clicked with the voters.
Congress concedes defeat
Standing up to his reputation as a statesman Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Narendra Modi and congratulated him on his victory.
The Congress however clarified that the mandate in Gujarat should not be seen as a signal for things to come and had no bearing at the Centre.
For the Congress it seems, the ‘Maut Ke Sauadagar’ comment clearly backfired, as did the delay in effecting the tribal bill. But the party is not admitting it. Defending the Congress president’s remarks the party rejected the view that Sonia Gandhi`s "merchants of death" remark turned the tide in favour of Modi, saying the truth has to be told.
Congress spokesperson Kapil Sibal however was candid enough to admit that Modi is indeed BJP’s tallest leader in Gujarat and this win is entirely his victory. He added that BJP’s victory will not remove the blot from Modi. “However, we do not grudge Modi the victory,” Congress said.
The RSS that had not come out clearly in support of Narendra Modi seems to have done a volte face and said that they were helping the Chief Minister all along in the campaign. “It is not Modi’s victory alone. It is the victory of the BJP central leadership and the cadre base,” RSS said.
BJP: 117 (-9)
Congress: 59 (+7)
Others: 6 (+3)
Regionwise Tally & Swing
Kutch & Saurashtra
Narendra Modi – BJP – Wins from Maninagar
Anandiben Mafatbhai Patel – BJP – Wins from Patan
Ramanlal Ishvarlal Vora – BJP – Wins from Idar
Bimal Shah – BJP – Loses from Kapadvanj
Narhari Hiralal Amin – Congress – Loses from Matar
Kaushik Patel – BJP – Loses from Shahpur
Gopalbhai Gabhabhai Dhua – Congress – Loses from Mundra
Jashuben Savjibhai Korat – BJP – Wins from Jetpur
Vitthalbhai Hansrajbhai Radadiya – Congress – Wins from Dhoraji
Arjunbhai Devabhai Modhwadiya – Congress – Wins from Porbandar
Dr Chandrikaben Kanjibhai Chudasama – Congress – Loses from Mangrol
Ratibhai Gordhanbhai Sureja – BJP – Loses from Manavadar
Becharbhai Veerjibhai Bhadani – Congress – Loses from Lathi
Ashok Bhatt – BJP – Wins from Khadia
Nitin Kumar Ratilal Patel – BJP – Wins from Kadi
Nareshkumar Gangaram Raval – Congress – Loses from Mehsana
Sundarsinh Bhalabhai Chauhan – BJP – Wins from Mehmedabad
Narendrasinh Madhavsinhji Jadeja - Congress – Loses from Abdasa
Indravijaysinh Kishorsinh Jadeja – BJP – Loses from Dhrangadhra
Vajubhai Vala – BJP – Wins from Rajkot II