Gandhinagar/Shimla (MExN): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today scripted a historic win in Gujarat Assembly elections, almost wiping out the opposition in the State but suffered a setback as the Congress gained absolute majority in Himachal Pradesh.
Updates on the Election Commission of India website informed that the BJP secured victory in 156 out of the 182 seats Gujarat Assembly, with a vote share of 52.5%.
Trailing at a distant second was the main opposition Congress, which managed to win just 17 seats with a 27.7% vote share, down from 77 in 2017.
New entrant Aam Aadmi Party won 5 seats with 12.9% vote share while 3 Constituencies went to Independent and 1 to Samajwadi Party.
According to IANS news agency, the incumbent Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, who assumed office in September 2021 after removal of Vijay Rupani, is set to be sworn-in again on December 12 after the party's landslide victory.
All of the 20 Gujarat ministers under the Patel ministry, who contested under BJP, got re-elected except one, it added.
The BJP, in a press 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'.
The BJP, however, could not repeat the feat in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, as the Congress won 40 seats in the 68-member House, and reduced the former to 25. Three Independents, comprising two BJP rebels and one Congress, emerged victorious.
According to an IANS report, Himachal Pradesh has not voted any incumbent government back to power since 1985. In the 2017 assembly elections, the BJP had won 44 seats and the Congress 21, with one seat going to CPI-M, and two to Independent candidates.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who didn't campaign in the state, thanked the voters for the Congress' win.
"Heartfelt thanks to the people of Himachal Pradesh for this decisive victory. Hearty congratulations to all Congress workers and leaders. Your hard work and dedication really deserves the best wishes for this victory. I assure you again, every promise made to the public will be fulfilled at the earliest," he said.