Overcome the anti-incumbency factor, caste-based social engineering attempted well by the Congress, disaffection among many groups – farmers, unemployed youth, and small businessmen fretting about GST tax, the leading political party BJP clinched the Gujarat assembly polls sixth time in a row, winning 99 seats in the 182-member House in the home state of the Indian PM Modi. BJP’s tally, however, was 16 less than 115 in the previous election. It is also for the first time it has slipped below the 100 mark since the BJP formed its maiden government on its own in 1995.
In the final tally, it is a difference of only 19 seats that made the saffron party the sixth-time winner in Gujarat, keeping Congress and its allies at the number two spot, even though they came painfully close to surprising everybody. Importantly, In the Gujarat election, Rahul Gandhi displayed aggressive campaigning skills and led from the front, unlike in the past. But the Congress lost, despite anti-incumbency and several casteist leaders factor working in its favour.
Importantly, this historical feat of 22 straight years in power is bettered only by the CPM-led Left Front government in West Bengal which enjoyed 34 years in power – seven consecutive terms from 1977 to 2011.