BJP storms back to power in Gujarat, Congress gains majority in Himachal

BJP returned to power in Gujarat with a historic victory while Congress made a comeback in Himachal Pradesh in the results announced on Thursday which also marked the start of an election season that will see several assembly polls next year in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls in 2024.

The BJP has won 153 seats and is leading in three more of 182 assembly seats in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, smashing all previous records of electoral performance. The Congress held its nerve in Himachal Pradesh and won 40 seats in the 68-member assembly.

For Aam Aadmi Party, which won the MCD elections on Wednesday, the results in Gujarat gave some satisfaction though the party’s numbers were far less than the expectations of its leaders. AAP made its maiden entry in the Gujarat assembly winning five seats and its leaders saw a lot of hope in the party getting 12.92 per cent vote share in the state where the BJP has been in power for almost 27 years. AAP leaders also declared that the party has now gained “national party” status.

Congress recorded its worst performance in Gujarat and is poised to win only 17 seats, partly due to AAP splitting the opposition vote.

Bypolls to six seats held across five states also gave a mixed result with Congress and BJP winning two seats each and BJD and RLD on one each. Samajwadi Party candidate Dimple Yadav won the Mainpuri Lok Sabha seat with a huge margin.