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Can Congress save face in HP and Gujarat? Poll results to define road to 2024

The counting of votes has begun for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections today. Premium
The counting of votes has begun for Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections today.

Assembly Election Results 2022: The grand old party would be more than happy if it wins the Himachal Pradesh elections and remain the main opposition in Gujarat where the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been luring the voters with freebies.

The Congress party has kept its fingers crossed as it waits for Thursday's counting of votes for the Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The counting of votes for Gujarat and HP polls has begun at 8 am today, Thursday, December 8.

The grand old party would be more than happy if it wins the Himachal Pradesh elections and remain the main opposition in Gujarat where the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been luring the voters with freebies.

However, the crisis will deepen further if it fails to wrest power from the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the hilly state, which follows the tradition of alternate governments since 1985, and concedes the main opposition's position in Gujarat to AAP.

On Monday, exit polls predicted a big majority for the BJP in Gujarat and a defeat in Himachal Pradesh where the voters chose to unseat the ruling party and swap it with the previous government. In Himachal Pradesh, the exit polls also predicted a neck to neck battle between two traditional rivals, that is, BJP and Congress. 

The Gandhi family-led Congress party suffered another setback when the Delhi civic polls results were announced on Wednesday, with the party winning only 9 seats out of 250 wards in the municipal corporation of the national capital. The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP won the Delhi MCD polls and ended BJP's 15-year rule.

As per PTI reports, poll watchers said that if Congress wins the Himachal Pradesh elections, it would be a major boost for the grand old party as it is currently in power in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh only.

A comeback in Himachal Pradesh would be a great 'morale booster' for the Congress party whose workers and senior leaders are undertaking Bharat Jodo Yatra across the country.

"This would give the Congress hope for both 2023 and 2024, albeit a lot will depend upon how it recharges the party after the Bharat Jodo Yatra," Sanjay Jha, a former spokesman of the party told PTI.

Manindra Nath Thakur, who teaches political science at New Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, told PTI that if AAP does better than Congress 'it would bolster the argument that the space which is being vacated by the Congress is being grabbed by AAP. So, Gujarat is a test case for both AAP and the Congress'.

Himachal Pradesh voted on 12 November and Gujarat voted in two phases on 1 and 5 December. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi's votes were held on 4 December.

 

(With PTI inputs)

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