Wednesday, May 22, 2024

BJP eyeing new records

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PNS | AHMEDABAD/SHIMLA

The BJP is eyeing a record seventh straight term in Gujarat and also hoping to buck the anti-incumbency trend in Himachal Pradesh witnessed for nearly four decades as the stage is set for counting of votes on Thursday for the Assembly elections in the two states.

Simultaneously, votes polled in by-elections in six assembly constituencies in five states and the high-profile Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh, where the opposition Samajwadi Party is locked in a battle for prestige with the BJP, will be also counted.

The counting process will commence at 8 am with postal ballots to be taken up first.
Exit polls have predicted a big majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) in Gujarat and if these projections are any indication the saffron party is all set to retain power in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for the seventh consecutive term and equal Left Front’s feat in West Bengal. The CPI(M)-led Front ruled the eastern state for 34 years from 1977 to 2011.

The BJP, which won 99 seats in the 2017 polls, is projected to win in the range of 117-151 seats in a House of 182 and the Congress between 16 and 51 seats. It is also upbeat about the possibility of the AAP eating into Congress votes, which could be additionally beneficial for the saffron party.

The best showing for the BJP in Gujarat came in 2002 when the party had won 127 seats in the 182-member state assembly.The poll outcome will determine if the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) gets a chance to establish itself as a pan-national party and a challenger to the BJP at the national level also.

The AAP, which is in power in Delhi and Punjab and had launched an aggressive campaign to make it a three-cornered contest for the first time in Gujarat, was projected to bag anything between 2 and 13 seats. The majority mark is 92.

For the Congress, its role as the main challenger to the BJP is at stake and Thursday’s results will show if the party’s silent campaign’ has cut ice with people. Top leaders of the party, which was projected to bag between 16 and 51 seats, were busy with Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Congress bagged 77 seats in 2017.

Congress holds power only in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, both of which will go to polls in 2023, and party insiders say that any hopes for the party’s revival has to start from Himachal Pradesh

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