Gujarat elections: Modi win, more than BJP’s


Rama Krishna Sangem

Headline of this story may make many wonder whether – is Prime Minister Narendrda Modi different from BJP? Of course, not. But the stellar performance of BJP in Gujarat assembly elections – winning 157 out of 182 MLAs – can be mainly attributed to PM Mod’s personal image & clout in Gujarat. Otherwise, BJP wouldn’t have pulled a victory of this scale, that too for 7th consecutive term, a record of sorts.

There are arguments that Aam Admi Party (AAP) and AIMIM of Asaduddin Owaisi – have spoiled Congress chances and helped BJP. This view is true to some extent – Congress would have got more MLAs or more votes, but not to the level of defeating BJP. As per the data from Election Commission till 5 pm on December 8, Thursday, when counting of votes almost completed, BJP got a vote share of around 52 per cent. 

Whereas, Congress got around 26 per cent of votes (16 seats), followed by AAP’s 13 per cent (5 seats) and AIMIM’s less than 1 per cent (nil seats) vote share. So, even if we club the three opposition parties, BJP stands tall in Gujarat. Maybe their number seats would have been less than 156. Congress leaders are saying that AAP is B team of BJP and that it has cut into their votes in Gujarat. But, in most of the seats, AAP came second, pushing Congress to 3rd spot.


How Modi won Gujarat?

PM Modi has donned the role of star campaigner of BJP in Gujarat this time. Learning a lesson from 2017’s narrow victory, when BJP got only 99 seats and had to split 10 Congress MLAs to secure stablity, this time Modi launched a massive campaign, since months before the elections.  He knew BJP which was in power for 27 years is not that strong in rural areas of Gujarat.

He changed three CMs in the last five years, Anandi Ben Patel (just before elections), Vijay Rupani and now Bhupendra Patel. Modi ensured denial of tickets to 41 sitting MLAs thus combating anti-incumbency factor. He compensated Morbi bridge collapse tragedy with dozens of grand development projects and big industries. Modi raked up  Gujarati pride and termed Congress “anti-Gujarati”.

Gujarat which accounts for 26 Lok Sabha MPs is crucial for Modi more than its representation in Parliament. But because of the State is a matter of prestige for him before 2024 national general elections. If he fails to win Gujarat or wins even by a whisker, then it would be difficult for BJP to project him as the PM candidate for 2024 LS polls. Now, he crossed that problem. Gujarat people have stood by him.

Telangana Congress leader Jetti Kusuma Kumar who campaigned in Gujarat for these elections told Excel India a few days ago that PM Modi has asked people to vote for BJP by seeing his face, not based on the image of the MLA candidates image. He is risking his personal image and prestige in the elections, so voters gifted him with this landslide victory. That is the reason why Modi on Thursday became emotional and said Thank You Gujarat. 



Mixed Bang for BJP

Himachal Pradesh assembly results have delivered a shock to BJP and Modi too. HP which accounts for 4 Lok Sabha seat may not be a big disappointment to the saffron party, but losing a state to Congress will have some political consequences. Rahul Gandhi hasn’t visited HP, but Priyanka Gandhi went there. Still the party won there. This is also a matter of delight for Mallikarjun Kharge, new president of Congress to wrest Himachal Pradesh.

Congress is likely to fare better or even win in Karnataka assembly elections next summer. HP win will come as a big boost to the party in Karnatak. Even Congress leaders celebrated party victory in HP in Gandhi Bhavan of Hyderabad. This may inspire Congress leaders to put up a decent show in Telangana in next years’s assembly elections. AAP too may now focus its attention on Karnataka and then Telangana.



Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at