Assembly elections: BJP retains power in Gujarat with a landslide win in 156 of 182 seats
Ahmedabad, December 8, 2022
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been in power in Gujarat for 27 years, retained power for another five-year term, winning an unprecedented 156 of the 182 seats in the state legislative assembly in the elections held in two phases on December 1 and 5.
In the counting of votes that began this morning, the BJP won 156 seats. The Congress, which had won 77 seats in the 2017 elections, was reduced to just 17 as it continued with its stuggle to stay relevant in the state after nearly three decades in the wilderness.
In the process, the BJP broke Congress leader Madhavsinh Solanki's 1985 record of leading his party to victory in 149 seats with 55.55 per cent vote share.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had to stay content with just five seats, but that was enough to earn it the status of a national party, being already in power in the National Capital Territory of Delhi and in Punjab. It is also recognised as a state party in Goa.
The party has now become the ninth national party after getting around 13 per cent vote share in the Gujarat assembly polls. A political party needs to be recognised in at least four states to be recognised as a national party. To be recognised as a party in a state, it needs to win at least two seats and 6 per cent of votes.
Independent candidates won three seats in Gujarat and the Samajwadi Party picked up one.
Polling in the elections was held in two phases on December 1 and 5, with 64.22 per cent of the 4.91 crore voters turning out to exercise their franchise, which works out to more than 3.16 crores votes cast on the two days.
The BJP won 52.5% of hte vote share this time, the Congress 27.28%, and AAP 12.92%.
In the 2017 general elections, 2,94,64,326 votes were polled, with a voter turnout of 68.39 per cent, of which BJP polled 1,47,24,031, 49.05 per cent votes and 99 seats, whereas the Congress got 1,24,37,661 votes, 41.44 per cent and 77 seats.
The five-year term of the current Gujarat Assembly, which was constituted on February 19, 2018, will end on February 18, 2023.
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who took over in September 2021 after the BJP removed incumbent Vijay Rupani, is set to be sworn in again on December 12.
Five of the 25 state ministers were denied tickets in these elections. Of the 20 who contested, the Chief Minister and 18 others have got re-elected to the Assembly.
While Patel has won with a massive margin of 1,92,263 votes, other ministers who won with large margins are Purnesh Modi (104,637), Harsh Sanghvi (131,675), Kanu Desai (97,164), Naresh Patel (93,166), and Manish Vakil (98,597).
Other ministers who have won are Jitu Vaghani, Rishikesh Patel, Raghavji Patel, Kiritsinh Rana, Arjunsinh Chauhan, Jagdish Panchal, Jitu Chaudhary, Mukesh Patel, Nimisha Suthar, Kuberbhai Dindor, Gajendrasinh Parmar, Vinubhai Moradia and Devabhai Malam.
However, minister Kirtisinh Vaghela was the unlucky one, losing by a margin of 4,792 votes.
The BJP, in a statement, gave several reasons for its landslide victory - the Prime Minister Narendra Modi factor, water management, safe and secure Gujarat, uninterrupted electricity supply, agricultural growth, empowering poor and deprived, qualitative specialised education, women empowerment, empowerment of tribals, and "Vibrant Gujarat".
In 12 districts, the BJP has totally washed out the Congress.
The AAP appeared to have damaged the Congress on a large scale, and also the BJP on few seats. However, the AIMIM was rejected by Muslim voters. Three BJP rebels were elected, but 16 others were shown the door by the voters.
Samajwadi Party's Kandhal Jadeja got elected to the assembly from Kutiyana. BTP founder Chhotu Vasava faced defeat after representing the Jhagadia seat for seven terms. He had to contest as an independent candidate, because son Mahesh Vasava did not issue a BTP ticket to him.
In 12 districts including Kutch, Amreli, Junagadh, Surendranagar, Surat, Tapi, and Valsad, the BJP made a clean sweep while 44 Congress candidates and 128 AAP candidates forfeited their deposits.
The BJP won 46 out of 54 seats in Saurashtra and Kutch, 33 out of 35 in south Gujarat, 22 out of 32 in north Gujarat and 55 out of 61 in central Gujarat. Against that, the Congress won 4 in Saurashtra and Kutch, only 1 in south Gujarat, 8 in north Gujarat, and 5 in central Gujarat.
Out of its 48 sitting MLAs, 40 lost the elections and only 8 have got elected. As Congress did not get 10 per cent seats in the Assembly, it might not get the Leader of Opposition's post.
Though the AAP has polled some 40 lakh votes, its main faces like Isudan Gadhvi, Gopal Italia, Alpesh Kathiria, Dharmesh Malaviya, and Sagar Rabari lost miserably. The candidates who won are Chitar Vasava (Dadiapada), Bhupatbhai Bhayani (Visavadar), Sudhir Vaghani (Gariyadhar), Hemant Khava (Jamjodhpur) and Umesh Makwana (Botad).
The three BJP rebels who have won are Dhavalsinh Zala (Bayad), Dharmendrasinh Vaghela (Vaghodia) and Mavji Desai (Dhanera).