Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election: BJP Extends its Lead over Congress
After a high-pitched and bitterly-fought election campaign by the BJP and Congress in Gujarat, all eyes now focus on the Gujarat Assembly election result which will be declared today.
Counting of votes began at 8 am sharp. The BJP has extended the lead after the Congress gave a tough challenge. The Congress, which exit polls predicted would lose the Gujarat election, seemed to be proving them wrong. At one time, experts and analysts even considered a win for the Congress, which would be a first for them in two decades in Gujarat. A market had collapsed with the Sensex going down 850 points, but has recovered the loss and is up 50 points currently. The election in Gujarat is seen as a prestige battle for both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and newly-elected Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
For PM Modi, Gujarat being his home state makes it a must-win battle for the BJP, while for Rahul Gandhi, who is now Congress president, a loss would be seen as a bad start, especially because he was the face of the Congress and spearheaded its campaign and strategy in the state. The BJP has been ruling in Gujarat for the last two decades and a win today will be significant for them ahead of the 2019 general elections. While it is neck and neck in Gujarat, the BJP has extended its lead over the Congress in Himachal Pradesh.