BJP fails to make clean sweep in Modi's Gujarat

BJP fails to make clean sweep in Modi's Gujarat

The Gujarat unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wanted to score a perfect 10 a day before Narendra Modi's 64th birthday on Wednesday, and gift it to him during his maiden visit to his home state after becoming prime minister four months ago.

The party missed out on the opportunity, losing three seats in areas traditionally considered Congress strongholds.

Thus, even as Modi arrived to a grand welcome by BJP workers for him and party president Amit Shah, the loss took away some of the sheen from his first homecoming as prime minister. The byelections, being considered a litmus test for Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, were held for nine Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat.

The BJP retained the two seats vacated by Modi—Maninagar as MLA and Vadodara as MP.
This was the first election in over a decade in the state without Modi at the helm of the BJP's affairs, and hence the Congress was able to win back seats like Khambaliya after a gap of 35 years. The losses were also ascribed reasons like the absence of star campaigners and overconfidence of BJP workers.

Addressing thousands of BJP activists near Gandhinagar, where he was welcomed, Modi said in Gujarati, “The workers are the strength of the party, and that is the reason the BJP has been able to come to power at the Centre with a thumping majority.”

Modi said the BJP was the only party which gave importance to its workers, and that they should work like a team for the development of the state and the country.

The Congress's win at Mangrol, Deesa and Khambaliya came as a big boost for the party, which had been decimated in the state and has remained out of power here for over two decades.

Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said, “The people of the state and the country do realise that all the promises made by Modi in election rallies of good days ahead are all proving to be false.”
He said the byelections verdict has proved that people cannot be taken for a ride and are not swayed by mere words.

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