Nagpur: "If you get 49.9 percent vote share in Gujarat, then that is hardly anti-incumbency," asserted Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in a recent conversation with reporters at Suyog, outside the Maharashtra Assembly on Tuesday. Pointing to the fact that the difference between the BJP and the Congress is more than 9 percent, he said that while political arithmetic might have meant that the number of seats have gone down, but it is still an incredible victory and is extremely significant to the BJP.
When asked about the effect of the victory on the Maharashtra government, he replied, "We are more stable in Maharashtra due to the victory in Gujarat. The BJP has been the best party in Maharashtra over the last one year and it will continue to make gains everyday. The Shiv Sena has been working together with us and we have good coordination among our leaders. We expect to get through our five year tenure without any hurdles."
Talking about Prime Minister Modi, Fadnavis said that the common man has a lot of trust in him. "That is what lead to the BJP getting 49.9 percent votes in Gujarat and to retain power even after 22 years. The Opposition has tried to spread all sort of incorrect messages against us but we have triumphed in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh due to the leadership of the Prime Minister and Amit Shah."
Responding to a question about the BJP defying anti-incumbency in Gujarat, Fadnavis said, "the victory in Gujarat after being in power for 22 long years is massive. The fact that almost 50 percent of the voters chose BJP is evidence of a clear verdict. However, even the number of voters who chose NOTA is huge, so every political party must look closely at why this is the case."
Opposition united against Fadnavis
The political atmosphere in Nagpur was electric after the results were declared in Gujarat. The fact that BJP could only hold on to power in the state but with a reduced number of seats allowed Congress leaders to claim a moral victory and say that this is a wake-up call for the BJP. The results did however give the BJP a clear victory and gave the state political stability for the next five years.
Congress' performance in Gujarat has given the party a major boost to the part in Maharashtra. Its long-time partner NCP has been intensifying the agitation against the Fadnavis government in recent days on various issues like non-implementation of loan waiver scheme, MSP prices for agricultural products, law and order, an the problems with Bt cotton. The two parties told the media that the preparations for 2019 have already begun. State Congress president and former chief minister Ashok Chavan went on to say that the Congress has emerged stronger in Gujarat and its after-effects will be felt across the country.
NCP's senior leader and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar told Firstpost that both parties had taken the Fadnavis government head-on over its failures on many fronts. In the coming days, it will once again start agitation across the state. "The Gujarat results are clearly anti-BJP. The election was a battle between Modi and Rahul Gandhi and the Congress president must be congratulated for the party's good performance," said Pawar.
Updated Date: Dec 19, 2017 16:01:41 IST