BJP president and the party's 'master strategist' Amit Shah has said, not once, not twice, but many times at his rallies in Gujarat and elsewhere that his party will win 150 out of the 182 seats in the state legislature. Shah even set the target of “Mission 150+” for the party workers and it was also one of his campaigns' biggest selling points. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had also asserted that they would win at least 150 seats when the party was showing early leads on Monday morning.
But as the Election Commission of India officially announced the final results, the saffron party has won 99 seats, whereas the Congress secured 77 seats. Notably, the BJP had won 115 seats in the 2012 Gujarat Assembly elections and contrary to the earlier claims of the BJP leadership, the party failed to surpass the three-digit mark
The last few major elections have seen the winner taking it all – as Nitish Kumar's Mahagathbandan (now dissolved) did during the Bihar assembly elections in 2015, the Congress in Punjab and the BJP in Uttar Pradesh elections in 2016. Now after a substantial gap, the finish has been close, very close.
The BJP leadership, particularly Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have used the phrase “Congress-mukt Bharat” at meetings and press conferences. But ironically, the Indian National Congress without any worthwhile leadership in Gujarat, has manifested that the very idea of Congress-mukt Bharat is just an utopian dream, right in the state which can be considered as the bastion of the BJP and RSS.
Strikingly, the BJP suffered a setback in Unjha constituency which includes Modi's hometown Vardana, where he grew up.
Congress' allies the Bharatiya Tribal Party and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) won two seats and one seat respectively, while three Independents sailed through.
–With additional inputs from the Web Desk