Gujarat elections: BJP gets a wake-up call
New Delhi: If initial trends are to be believed, then the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has got a wake-up call in Gujarat.
Given that it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, this is a serious message from the electorate, who otherwise have stood steadfast behind the BJP for 19 years.
The converse, it is a big welcome gift for the challenger, Rahul Gandhi, the newly crowned Congress president; in fact, today is only his third day in the job.
To be sure, the final outcome is still hours away.
But trends based on the first round of counting (as reported by the Election Commission) suggest that anti-incumbency has caught up with the BJP. In several constituencies previously won by the BJP with overwhelming margins, the party is trailing its Congress rival. The Congress is leading in 26 such seats where the BJP was incumbent.
These seats include Anand, Bharuch, Bhavnagar East, Botad, Choryasi, Chotila,Gandhinagar North, Gandhinagar South, Gariadhar, Jamalpur-Khadia, Jambusar, Junagadh, Khambhalia, Khambhat, Kodinar, Mangrol, Mehmedabad, Nadiad, Nizar, Patan, Porbandar, Radhanpur, Rajula, Savarkundla,Talaja and Wadhwan.
The trends suggest that the Gujarat election, unlike what the exit polls forecast, is headed for a cliff hanger.