Gujarat Assembly election results: Is victory a moral defeat for the BJP?
Gandhinagar, Dec 19: How could a well-achieved victory be dubbed as a defeat? The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the Gujarat Assembly elections 2017 with a comfortable majority.
The saffron party bagged 99 seats in the 182-member state legislative assembly, seven seats more than the magic number of 92 to come to power in the state by any party or a political alliance.
The victory achieved by the BJP amid fierce competition from the Congress is a historic one as it is the sixth consecutive assembly election win for the saffron party in Gujarat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party colleagues called the Gujarat referendum a vote for "vikas" (development) and rejection of "caste politics of the Congress".
After the Assembly election results of both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh (where again the BJP won by bagging 44 seats in the 68-member state Legislative Assembly) were declared on Monday, the PM tweeted stating that the results "indicate a strong support for the politics of good governance and development".
"The election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh indicate a strong support for politics of good governance and development. I salute the hardworking BJP Karyakartas in these states for their hard work which has led to these impressive victories," Modi tweeted.
Later while addressing his party leaders and workers in the national capital, the PM said: "Gujarat has yet again embraced development politics and rejected divisive tactics of a select few".
While the BJP is giving credit to its "politics of development and good governance" for its latest win in the two states, the Opposition called the Gujarat victory a "moral defeat for the BJP".
On the contrary, the Congress which had put up a good fight against the BJP in Gujarat and managed to win 77 seats (16 seats more than the 2012 Assembly elections) has dubbed its own defeat as a "moral victory".
After the results were out on Monday, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said it was a moral defeat for the BJP in Gujarat and the people of the state have "belled the cat for 2019".
Congratulating the people of Gujarat for their "very balanced verdict at this hour", Banerjee said it was a face-saving win for the ruling party.
"It is a temporary and face-saving win, but it shows a moral defeat for BJP. Gujarat voted against atrocities, anxiety, and injustice caused to the common people. Gujarat belled the cat for 2019," Banerjee tweeted.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief had recently hailed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for "putting the BJP on the backfoot".
The Congress termed its outing in the Gujarat assembly polls under the stewardship of party president as its "moral victory".
"Congress' Party's campaign under the leadership of #CongressPresidentRahulGandhi ji has led to a moral victory for our party in #Gujarat...," AICC general secretary in- charge for Gujarat Ashok Gehlot tweeted.
It's true that the BJP's seat numbers have come down hugely in the 2017 elections in Gujarat (in the 2012 Assembly elections the BJP got 115 seats) and way behind what the party president Amit Shah dreamt about winning 150-seats in the elections, but nonetheless, the saffron party drubbed the Congress in the polls.
In whatever way politicians and political analysts would like to read the Gujarat election results, one thing is clear "Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander (he who wins, is the king)", as Union minister Smriti Irani summed up the poll battle for the home state of PM Modi.