Will Gujarat strike a BJP Hattrick?

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Will Gujarat strike a BJP Hattrick?

| Updated: May 7, 2024 20:06

In Gujarat, it is not the BJP that wins. It is Prime Minister Narendra Modi. So confident is the BJP that it began its experiment of dropping sitting MPs by droves and giving a chance to new faces, many times political novices who went to win with handsome margins.

In 2014 when Narendra Modi then the Chief Minister of Gujarat was declared as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Gujarat rewarded him by giving all the 26 lok sabha seats to the saffron party. This was the first time Gujarat ever gave all 26 seats to a single party. Till then the highest record was that of the Congress winning 24 seats in 1984, The BJP won one seat in its’ maiden election. Dr A K Patel of Mehsana became the only BJP MP from Gujarat. BJP had won only two seats in India then. One was from Mehsana, Gujarat and the other was in Andhra Pradesh.

Unity in Development: Prime Minister Modi's Vision in Mehsana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

However, after 1984, Congress tally in Gujarat started declining. In 2004, Congress won 12 seats and in 2009 it won 11 seats. In the next two General elections in 2014 and 2019, Congress did not win a single seat in Gujarat.

The BJP this time too is hoping to strike a hat-trick. Though there are several  issues plaguing the BJP governance in Gujarat including 24 examination paper leaks, inflation and corruption, the saffron party is confident that the electorate will not let them down. This confidence stems from the fact that despite all these issues, the BJP won a record number of 156 of the 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat in December 2022.

Gujarat is BJP’s model State and its safest bastion. Hindutva rules Gujarat and the BJP has consistently used the State for all its social experiments and engineering.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah

Home Minister Amit Shah is contesting from Gandhinagar.

It however must be noted that this is for the first time since 2009, that the Congress is even putting up a fight. There are a few constituencies like Anand, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Valsad and Patan where there is some semblance of contest. As a part of alliance, Congress has given two seats of Bhavnagar and Bharuch to its ally, the Aam Aadmi Party. AAP’s Chaitar Vasava is giving a good fight to BJP’s Mansukh Vasawva who is seeking his seventh consecutive term from Bharuch.

AAP candidate Chaitar Vasava

The BJP had planned and announced that it would garner a minimum victory margin of five lac votes from each of the 26 lok sabha seats in Gujarat. However, a Kshatriya agitation seems to have foiled this ambition of the BJP. However, with several Congress MLAs joining the BJP recently adding to their already record 156 strength, the BJP hopes to win all the 25 seats. Twenty-five because Surat Loksabha seat has already been declared unopposed in favour of the BJP after signature irregularities were found in the Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani’s nomination papers. Nilesh reportedly switched over to the BJP. Interestingly, all other 14 independent candidates also withdrew nearly together in favour of the BJP candidate. In 2014 and 2019, BJP recorded 59.45 % and 62.21% of vote share respectively.

Geniben Thakor
Congress Candidate Geniben Thakor

The Congress recorded a 53 per cent vote share in 1984, which was reduced to 43 and 44 per cent in 2004 and 2009. The BJP received just a 19 per cent vote share in 1984, which increased to 47 per cent in the 2004 and 2009 elections.

However, in 2014 and 2019, the BJP increased its gap with the Congress, significantly leading by 26 and 30 per cent, respectively. The BJP’s all-India average lead against the Congress party was roughly 20 per cent. But in Gujarat, it was 30 per cent.

Amit Chavda
Congress Candidate Amit Chavda

In 2019, Gujarat, like its neighbouring Rajasthan was one of the four states where the saffron party won all the seats, recording more than a 50 per cent vote share.

June 04 will decide whether Gujarat will continue to shower its’ unadulterated love towards PM Modi or not. According to all Gujarat based psephologists, BJP is poised to win 26 seats again in Gujarat. This is because even if BJP loses five per cent of its vote share, it will win all 25 seats that went to polls today on May 7.

Also Read: Gujarat’s Valsad Decides Who Rules India, Always.

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