Gujarat, HP verdict to set the tone for poll campaign in state

Gujarat, HP verdict to set the tone for poll campaign in state

 The results of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls have come as a morale booster for the state BJP.

The ruling Congress, on the other hand, may have to tread cautiously in order to retain power in Karnataka - the last major state where the party is in power. The spotlight will now entirely be on Karnataka with the Assembly elections due in April/May next year.

The results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh have also set the tone of the poll campaigning in the state.

Monday's victory has provided the much-needed stimulus to the saffron party, whose campaign has remained slack and lacked spirit. The party is now hopeful that its rank and file will go for the kill ahead of the polls.

Besides, the party leaders are also confident that they can now seek the mandate on the Modi government's controversial reform measures - demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) - which the Congress had been using to corner it.

However, the saffron party has a tough task in ensuring some of its leaders do not play spoilsport in the lust for power. The state BJP has a history of witnessing dissident activities and oneupmanship ahead of Assembly polls, which can have an adverse effect on its vote bank. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa, who is the chief ministerial candidate, will face the challenge of taking everyone together.

The Congress, which has been making all-out efforts to retain power, will now have to put in extra efforts to keep its flock together and ensure its internal squabbles do not spill out into the open. The party will have to work out a strategy to fight anti-incumbency.

Several Congress leaders, who are unhappy with the leadership, are said to be keen on jumping ship to either the BJP or the JD(S).

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