2022 Assembly elections: BJP steamrolls in Gujarat, uncertainty in Himachal
The counting of votes for the state Assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh began on Thursday. Early Trends indicate that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is headed toward a resounding win in Gujarat while in Himachal Pradesh, it's in a see-saw race with the Congress. The BJP is incumbent in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, which have 182 and 68 seats respectively.
Why does this story matter?
- The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hoped to make inroads in Gujarat, a day after ending BJP's 15-year rule in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).
- While pollsters expect a close contest between the BJP and Congress in Himachal Pradesh, in Gujarat, BJP is predicted to begin its seventh consecutive term, improving its 2017 numbers.
- Exit polls showed Congress could be staring at its worst-ever performance.
BJP expected to win over 120 seats
Although the AAP tried to make it a triangular contest in Gujarat between itself, the BJP, and Congress. However, trends show the AAP is struggling to reach a two-digit mark. The BJP is leading on more than 150 seats along with incumbent Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. Gujarat went to polls in two phases on December 1 and 5.
In last election, Congress won 77 seats but suffered defections
Both phases of polling saw less than 60% voter turnout. In the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections, the Congress won 77 seats. However, after a series of defections, the grand old party was left with 62 members in the state Assembly. On the other hand, BJP had won 99 seats but had 111 MLAs before this election, owing to turncoats joining the fold.
AAP also in contest in both states
The polls in Himachal Pradesh were conducted in a single phase on November 12. The Himalayan state recorded over 70% voter turnout despite adverse weather conditions. Tashigang, known as the world's highest polling station, saw 100% polling. In the 2017 elections, the BJP won 44 out of 68 seats while the Congress won 21, but this election, the AAP is also in the fray.
Himachal Congress leaders camping in Delhi to secure CM's chair
Days before voting, the Congress faced a setback with 26 of its leaders switching over to the BJP. Himachal Pradesh is the home state of BJP's national president, JP Nadda, whose turf also saw rebellion from leaders who didn't receive tickets from the party but contested as independent candidates. Foreseeing a win, the state's Congress leaders camped in Delhi to secure the CM's post.