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The Times of India
The Times of India
Kumar Shakti Shekhar | TIMESOFINDIA.COM

Acrimony continues between BJP, Congress after elections in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, MCD

NEW DELHI: The public spat between rival political parties generally ends after every election. However, in an unprecedented development, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its rival Congress continue to attack each other even after the results of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh assembly elections were declared on Thursday.

The Congress accused the BJP of misusing state machinery and running a provocative and polarising campaign. BJP leaders hit back at the Congress alleging it of making hollow promises and indulging in appeasement politics.

On a number of occasions, Union home minister Amit Shah has remarked that in the run up to elections, politicians indulge in hyperbole which should not be taken seriously. However, the Congress and BJP leaders continue to indulge in tirade even after the elections are over.


Congress general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh launched a frontal attack at the BJP in Gujarat. He said, “The result in Gujarat is disappointing. Congress was up against a 3-party alliance of BJP, AAP and MIM; a campaign of provocative polarisation; and machinery of state and Centre.”

The Rajya Sabha MP said the Congress’s vote share gave it hope and confidence for rebuilding and revival. “We are the only alternative in Gujarat,” he added.

The BJP created history by winning 156 of the 182 assembly seats in Gujarat and garnering a vote share of 52.5 per cent. The Congress won 17 seats and bagged 27.28 per cent vote share. The debutant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 5 seats and got 12.9 per cent vote share.

Ramesh also lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said, “A desperate PM is trying to spin the Gujarat victory beyond what it deserves. The fact is that the BJP has lost everywhere else. Mr. Modi's drum-beaters also need a sense of perspective on Gujarat. In 1980, Congress won 141 and in 1985, 149 of 182 seats. Let this not be forgotten.”

Congress secretary Vineet Punia alleged that the BJP, led by Modi, was celebrating the victory in Gujarat to “spin-off” its defeat in Himachal Pradesh. “PM Modi is celebrating ‘victory’ to spin-off BJP’s defeat in Himachal Pradesh. PM must thank AAP and AIMIM for Gujarat victory, as they campaigned hard for its win. AAP was rejected in assembly elections as it was out of contest in 142/182 seats in Gujarat and all seats in Himachal.”

Ramesh seconded Punia’s post.

Congress general secretary in-charge of organisation KC Venugopal alleged that there was an “unholy nexus” between BJP and AAP in Gujarat. “We accept the Gujarat election verdict in all humility. The unholy nexus between AAP and BJP was instrumental in dividing the secular votes to script the saffron victory. The Congress party will deeply probe and introspect the reasons for this debacle and will take corrective measures.”

Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said the BJP had suffered a 2-1 defeat in the three elections held in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

She said, “Gratitude to Himachal. We will unite and win Gujarat again. Before elections, the BJP was in power in Himachal, Gujarat and Delhi Municipal Corporation. After the elections, it lost two and won one. BJP also lost by-elections in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Is it celebration of Gujarat's victory or illusion over defeat?”


The BJP hit back at the Congress and Rahul Gandhi.

Amit Shah said Gujarat had given an unprecedented mandate to

Prime Minister “Narendra Modi ji’s BJP”. He said the party has become the characterisation of development and public welfare.

Shah said, “The people had rejected those who do politics of hollow promises, 'rewdi' and appeasement. This massive victory has shown that every section – be it women, youth or farmers – is wholeheartedly with BJP.”

BJP’s co-in-charge of West Bengal Amit Malviya compared BJP’s 156 out of 182 assembly seats in the just-concluded election with the Congress’s 149 in 1985. “Madhavsinh Solanki of the Congress had won 149 out of 182 seats in Gujarat on the back of caste arithmetic. But Narendra Modi’s BJP won 156 out of 182 on the strength of its governance and development record… That also explains BJP’s longevity in Gujarat,” he said.

On Gujarat, Malviya took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who is leading the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra. “Lesson for Congress from its Himachal win. Keep Rahul Gandhi away from state elections,” he quipped.

The BJP’s in-charge of information and technology department was referring to Rahul’s absence from Himachal during the campaign. The Congress won 40 of the 68 seats in the hilly state while the BJP bagged 25 seats.

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