Explained: Here is why BJP failed to reach 150 mark in Gujarat election
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 Monday, winning 99 seats in the 182-member House but failed to reach the 150 mark.
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.
However, when asked about the ambitious 150 seat mark that the BJP President had predicted to reach, Shah stated they couldn't reach that mark because of the Congress.
"When I had said 150 seats, we did not know that Congress will carry out politics of such a low level. Otherwise, I would also have counted. If someone says things like these against the Prime Minister, will we not respond to him in public life? We were at the receiving end," said Amit Shah.
"Congress brought the level of the campaign down, because of which our number of seats went down," said the BJP president. Shah was pointing fingers at Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel, dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, and face of the Kshatriya-Thakor community Alpesh Thakor who lined up behind the Congress, carting away the sure shot votes of BJP.
Shah also said, "by 2022 Modiji's dream of having a New India will be fulfilled. The 2/3rd lead in Himachal Pradesh shows people there want to join PM Modi in the journey to development."
The BJP chief Amit Shah, who had set a target of 150 plus seats for the party in the 182-seat assembly, faced a greater challenge than they probably expected.
The Congress which is seen to gain nearly twenty seats compared to the 2012 assembly elections secured 77 seats. The BJP, though seen to be getting a majority mandate, has been reduced to double digits and finished with 99 seats, down sixteen.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too accused the Congress of trying to sow the seeds of casteism in Gujarat in its "hunger for power", asserting that the BJP's win in the assembly elections had underlined the people's acceptance of his government's reforms.
With the BJP - which recorded its sixth straight victory in Assembly elections in Gujarat - drawing its lowest tally this year, Modi said the victory this time was not 'samanya' (normal) but 'asamanya' (special).
OneIndia News (with agency inputs)