'The secret behind the win...' The X factor that kept BJP's fortress intact in Gujarat
Riding high on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP on Thursday retained power in Gujarat for a record seventh straight term pulverising the opposition to secure the biggest majority ever in the state.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday regained control of Gujarat for a record seventh straight term, crushing the opposition to win the most significant majority ever in the state while riding high on the charisma of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP crossed the three-fourths majority and, in the process, checkmated the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in triangular contests and drove the Congress to an all-time low. The BJP got 156 seats in a House of 182, garnering a vote share of nearly 52.5 per cent, which was the highest for any party in the western state. The saffron party also broke Congress' record of 149 seats it had won in 1985 under the leadership of Madhavsinh Solanki.
Following this victory, BJP leader Tejasvi Surya took to Twitter to hail PM Modi's leadership and popularity as one of the deciding factors for the saffron party to make a comeback in Gujarat.
"Sri Narendra Modi is perhaps the only leader in any democracy who knows no anti-incumbency. His popularity only keeps increasing with the time he spends in office! Record breaking 7th term for BJP in Gujarat is a victory of democracy - that good leadership will be valued," the MP for Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency remarked.
The National President of BJP Yuva Morcha also spelt the secret behind the party's emphatic win in Gujarat. "Through time spent during campaign in Gujarat, I heard stories of how Modi Ji had transformed lives of entire districts, cities," he wrote on Twitter.
"From no power to 24/7 electricity, riots to peace, famines to agri hub, school dropouts to revolution in education. This is the secret behind the win," Surya added.
The BJP, which bagged 99 seats in the 2017 Assembly polls with a 49.1 per cent vote share, surpassed its previous best showing of 127 seats in 2002 when Modi was the chief minister.
The Gujarat state BJP president CR Patil said Bhupendra Patel, the party's 60-year-old soft-spoken face in Gujarat, would continue as the chief minister, and his swearing-in ceremony would be held on December 12. Patel won the Ghatlodia seat in Ahmedabad by a massive margin of 1.92 lakh votes.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Gujarat Chief Minister Patel credited Prime Minister Modi for the party's "historic victory". "The biggest credit for this victory goes to the public's trust in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his popularity and credibility. Congratulations to him and thanks to the public," Singh said.
The BJP, which focused on a development agenda and overcame anti-incumbency yet again after being in power for 27 years without losing an election since 1995, also equalled the Left Front's feat of seven consecutive terms in West Bengal. The CPI(M)-led Front ruled the eastern state for 34 years from 1977 to 2011.
(With inputs from PTI)