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As Gujarat election result trends change, celebrations at BJP HQ in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned extensively in Gujarat assembly elections.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2017 14:26 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gujarat election result,BJP,Counting of votes
BJP supporters attend a campaign meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of Gujarat state assembly election in Kalol on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, December 8, 2017. (REUTERS)

Celebrations erupted at the BJP headquarters here, as trends showed the party heading for a comfortable win in Gujarat.

This will be the BJP’s sixth consecutive victory in the western state, demolishing a spirited challenge put up by the Congress and three youth leaders.

“Guys (BJYM Karnataka), burst crackers, distribute sweets n celebrate across all towns n major circles of our state. Retaining power even after ruling 22 years is nothing short of making history. Start celebrating,” Pratap Simha, the BJP MP from Mysore, tweeted.

A political party needs 92 seats to achieve a simple majority in the 182-member Gujarat assembly. All television channels showed the saffron party getting close to 110 and the Congress wresting 70-odd seats at 11 am. The BJP had won 115 seats in the state last time.

BJP workers at the party office began waving saffron flags, cheering and raising ‘Modi-Modi’ slogans as the gap between the two parties widened to their advantage. The sense of relief among those gathered was palpable. BJP chief Amit Shah – who sat glued to the television set at his home all morning – was expected to reach the party office soon, and preparations were on to accord him a grand welcome.

The BJP camp experienced some jittery moments in the early part of Monday morning. Though the party had declared that it would win over 150 of Gujarat’s 182 assembly seats, the fast-changing trends in the early hours indicated that it was locked in a close contest with the Congress in each of its four regions.

The BJP’s ‘mission 150’ was inspired by the momentum it gained in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which the party won earlier this year with a three-fourths majority. The Congress, however, appears to have improved its tally from the 2012 Gujarat polls – when it won just 61 seats.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned extensively in Gujarat, addressing 34 rallies between November 27 and December 11. The party expected his rallies to turn the tide in the BJP’s favour and take the fizz out of the Congress’ campaign. Trends show that did happen, but not by a great extent.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 09:58 IST