SANTOSH KUMAR PATHAK
New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) A triangular contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party is expected in several seats of Gujarat in the upcoming Assembly elections. Despite AAP’s strong arrival in the state and Arvind Kejriwal’s aggressive election campaign, the BJP is looking forward to its biggest victory.
The saffron party achieved its biggest victory so far in 2002 Legislative Assembly elections, when Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister again with a bumper victory in 127 seats.
By winning 121 legislative seats in 1995, BJP formed a government of absolute majority in the state for the first time on its own. It formed a government for the second time after winning 117 seats in 1998, and for the third time by winning 127 seats in 2002.
Subsequently, the party won for the fourth time by 117 seats in 2007 and for the fifth time in 2012 by winning 115 seats.
The party formed the government for the sixth consecutive time by winning the 2017 elections but the number of its seats decreased to less than a 100. In the last elections, the Congress gave a tough fight to the BJP by following the path of soft Hindutva.
The required number of MLAs to form a government in the state is 92 and the BJP only won seven more than the required minimum, that is, 99 in 2017. The difference of votes between both the parties came down to 7.6 per cent.
The political scenario in 2022 is completely different from 2017. With party veteran Ahmed Patel’s death, Ashok Gehlot engaged in his ministerial duties as Rajasthan’s CM and Rahul Gandhi being engrossed in Bharat Jodo Yatra, AAP is vigorously trying to replace the Congress.
A leader associated with the BJP’s election campaign claimed that the AAP would not harm the BJP in any way. Even some votes that it may receive would be Congress’ and that will only benefit the BJP’s candidates.
BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia claimed that the party would form the government with a thumping majority by winning more than two-third seats in the state.
BJP leader and Union Minister Parshottam Rupala in a conversation with IANS said that the Congress would still be his party’s main contender despite AAP’s strong campaign.
Rupala also showed belief in the BJP’s big win in the upcoming elections.
The Congress holds the record of winning the most seats in the electoral history of Gujarat since it won 149 of the total 182 seats in the 1985 Assembly elections.
SANTOSH KUMAR PATHAK