Supporters of BJP PM candidate Narendra Modi on his way to filing his nomination for Lok Sabha election in Varanasi. (HT photo/Arvind Yadav)
A total sweep for the party was the gift – wrapped in a colossal 5.7-lakh victory margin for its PM designate -- that the BJP gave itself in Gujarat on Friday.
The BJP mopped up all the 26 seats in the state, leaving the Congress with nothing – a first in the state’s electoral history. Also, the BJP broke the Congress’ 2014 record of winning 25 of the 26 seats in 1985.
Party patriarch L K Advani won from Gandhinagar with a margin of more than three lakh votes, with most other BJP candidates having won or leading with margins of more than one lakh votes.
The three Union ministers from the state, Dinsha Patel from Kheda, Bharat Solanki from Anand and Tushar Chaudhary from Bardoli – who were expected to put up stiff fights against the onslaught of the BJP’s PM designate Narendra Modi, have lost.
The most shocking loss for the Congress is that of party veteran and former CM Shankersinh Vaghela, who is also leader of the opposition in the assembly. He lost from Sabarkantha in North Gujarat.
In fact, in all the four regions, Saurashtra, North Gujarat, South Gujarat and Central Gujarat, the BJP has decimated Congress men. "The people have rejected the Congress and given a clear mandate to Narendra Modi, who is set to be the next PM," BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani said.
He said, "We were confident of winning all the seats in Gujarat, thanks to the party workers' hard work and support by the people of the state.”
The BJP’s vote share has shot up in the state, with the party bagging 60% of the total votes polled. Gujarat had witnessed over 63% voting on April 30.
The party fielded eight MLAs -- Liladhar Vaghela and Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, both state ministers, Poonam Madam from Khambhalia, Bharti Shiyal from Bhavnagar, Mohan Kundaria from Rajkot, Dilip Patel from Anand and Devusinh Chauhan from Khedafor. The by-polls in those seats are likely in six months.