In 2002, the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi bagged 127 seats — the highest-ever that the BJP had achieved since it came to power in Gujarat in 1995.
This time around, there’s plenty of noise regarding the BJP’s ‘target’ of 150-plus seats, and that Prime Minister Modi is all set to break Chief Minister Modi’s records.
Late Monday evening, after the voting got over for phase 2 of the Gujarat elections, various exit polls were out with their results.
The India Today Group-Axis My India poll said that the BJP was expected to get between 128 and 144 out of 182 seats. The TV9 Gujarati exit poll gave the BJP 125 to 130 seats, while the Republic TV and P-Marg poll projected the BJP at 128 to 148 seats. The News X-Jan Ki Baat poll gave the BJP 117 to 140 seats.
At Vibes of India, we are thinking a bit differently.
For sure, the BJP is winning Gujarat for the sixth consecutive term (in 1995, BJP leaders Shankersinh Vaghela and Narendra Modi had sparred, resulting in Vaghela forming his own party and going to polls after presidential rule in Gujarat. Otherwise, this would be the BJP’s seventh consecutive term).
However, Vibes of India must clarify that it has spoken to just a thousand odd people across the State. We must stress that there is quite a contradiction between updates from urban and rural areas.
While the urban areas have unanimously asserted that they have voted for Narendrabhai, the rural areas said increasing prices of domestic gas cylinders, consistent paper leaks, inflation and price rise have determined their votes.
Here are the few observations we have derived:
1. Out of the 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat, the BJP is not likely to win more than 122 seats. In the past, the BJP state president, CR Paatil, had claimed that the BJP will win 182/182 seats. The BJP has been over-confident, especially after it bagged 26/26 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.
2: It must be recalled that in 2017, the BJP won 99 seats but by the time it went to polls this year, it had a total number of 119 MLAs. This included the turncoats from the Congress. The Congress had won 77 seats but was reduced to 58 by the time it got into the 2022 polls.
3: The results will be out on December 8.
4. This has been an interesting election for it is after decades that Gujarat has witnessed a genuine triangular battle. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) fielded candidates in 182 seats and gave a spirited fight.
5. Though official figures of voting percentage has yet not been declared, approximately 67% of Gujarat has cast their votes. The final voting percentage will be out later in the night. In 2017, 70.93% had cast their votes.
6. According to our estimates, the Congress will win a maximum of 55 to 60 seats.
7. Though there has been a speculation that the AAP will be the main opposition, our survey says the AAP will not win more than three of the 182 seats. This may include one in Saurashtra, one in a tribal belt, and one in South Gujarat. There is a possibility that AAP’s chief ministerial face Isudan Gadhvi may lose. AAP convenor Gopal Italia is facing a tough fight from the Katargam seat.
8. Here is an interesting chart. The BJP won 121 seats in 1995. The BJP’s highest tally was 127 in 2002. The Congress’s highest tally is 149 in the 1985 elections. We can confidently say that there is no way the BJP will break the Congress record of 149 seats this election.
12. It is sad and we are absolutely gutted to even mention it, but our primary reports say that the BJP is winning Morbi. This despite the Morbi bridge collapse, the callousness on part of the ruling BJP, and utter shamelessness of the party in not taking any action against the Oreva owner, Jaysukh Patel.
13. We are equally sad to say that CK Raolji, the man who was in the committee that granted remission to the rapists of Bilkis Bano, is all set to win yet another term from the BJP. Godhra recorded 63.65% voting and our sources claim that the AIMIM helped CK Raolji indirectly. The Muslim population in Godhra is more than 74,000 which is nearly 51.23% of the total town population, but there were 10 candidates in the fray, mostly Muslims propped by the AIMIM. This has helped the BJP.
14. North Gujarat and the tribal belt could be singularly responsible for the BJP not crossing 130 seats.
15. Saurashtra, which in 2017 had reposed faith in the Congress, has withered away and is siding with the BJP.