BJP more than confident to nail Gujarat after victory in UP civic polls

As the results of the Uttar Pradesh civic elections were declared yesterday, with BJP registering a historic win, one thing was very clear that UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has passed with flying colors. These civic elections were seen as litmus test for Yogi and his government, to test the mood of the people towards BJP after 9 months of coming into power in Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Pradesh is totally colored in saffron with the lotus blooming everywhere and the BJP flag flying high with pride in the state. The polls were held in three phases for 16 Nagar nigams, 198 Nagar Palika Parishad and 438 Nagar panchayats. BJP nailed the victory for 14 mayoral seats of the 16 constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, while the Samajwadi Party, who made the former government in UP and the main opposition party Congress could not even open its account in these elections.

These elections were a major challenge for the BJP and especially the Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, but it was even more critical for the party to win these polls in wake of the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections.

Though BJP has been ruling in Gujarat for more than two decades now, it seems like the anti-incumbency and few other factors like the note ban, GST and most important one a tough competition from the Congress was making the party a little restless. However, the UP civic poll results have turned the tables once again in favor of BJP and the party is now more than confident of winning 150+ seats of the total 182 in Gujarat.

BJP won the mayoral seats in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad, Bareilly, Agra, Firozabad, Ayodhya, Mathura, Lucknow, Kanpur, Saharanpur, Jhansi, Bareilly and Moradabad while the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won in Aligarh and Meerut.

What was more celebrating for the party was that BJP not only won the elections, but it also nailed the seat in Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi‘s Amethi. Winning in Congress constituency gave the BJP more happiness than winning the entire elections.

BJP no wonder is not leaving this chance to pull down the opposition and boast about its victory. BJP party President, Amit Shah, claimed that the win in UP polls have not only silenced the Congress but hopefully even showed them the reality and bring them back to the fantasy world they were living in.

On Friday while addressing the gathering in Somnath town, Shah confidently said that the BJP will repeat its performance in the Gujarat assembly elections and will win 150 seats. “When I had started from Ahmedabad this morning, the counting had just begun in Uttar Pradesh. As the counting went on, the shine vanished from faces of Congressmen. And as the counting ended, they disappeared from even television shows,” he said.

Celebrating the victory BJP did not leave the opportunity to pass sarcastic comments on Congress and make them realize that all their efforts will go in vain when BJP wins in Gujarat. The BJP party President said that “People of UP did not give any of the 16 municipal corporations to the Congress. On the other hand, BJP’s flag is flying high in UP. Today what has happened in UP will be repeated in Gujarat. On December 18, when counting takes place, BJP will win 150 seats by 11 am…. The results in UP have shut their (Congress leaders’) mouth.”

Shah also taking a dig at the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi added that “They (Congress) have been wiped out in such a manner that Rahul baba’s (Rahul Gandhi’s) Lok Sabha seat, which encompasses Amethi municipality, was completely won by BJP. Rahul-baba has been spending time here (in Gujarat) for the last two months. Had he gone to Amethi, such a thing would not have happened.”

He also pulled down on the opposition party for creating a row over GDP and the slowing economy in India. Since the new figures on the GDP were released on Thursday, and the data showed economy coming back on track, Shah attacked the Congress saying that “the 6.3-percent GDP growth re-establishes that India continues to grow at a fast pace under Prime Minister  Narendra Modi. Since the GDP numbers have come, Congressmen have gone silent.”

Alos the recent controversy regarding the religion of the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi was underlined by Amit Shah. He alleged that “Once the elections are over, the (Gandhi) family will not even come for a darshan (at Somnath temple). I will come, though.”

Amit Shah also took a dig at the slogans used by the Congress during campaigning in Gujarat. He mocked that “The Congress has been shouting for the last three months that ‘Congress aave chhe’ (Congress is coming in Gujarat), while today, the people of Uttar Pradesh said ‘Congress jae chhe’ (Congress is going).”

He also passed comments on the dynastic rule of Congress and BJP’s development agenda. He said that “Congress was contesting the Gujarat polls on the agenda of casteism and dynastic rule, while the BJP is fighting on the basis of development.”

Also boasting about the achievements of BJP in Gujarat, he said that in past 22 years 19,000 villages got 24 -hour electricity and there were very few incidents of curfew. He further added that while Congress deliberately delayed the Narmada project, it was the BJP that helped solve the water problems of the Saurashtra region. Shah claimed that “The Congress will never win if it tries to contest on the agenda of development.”

Attacking the Congress Vice President, Shah questioned “Rahul baba, you ask us what did we do? I would like to ask you as to what did you do to Gujarat and its people? Why did your party not allow the Narmada Yojana to be completed for 50 years? But instead of replying, you will ask questions on why is there so much unemployment in Gujarat.”

Boasting about the win in Rahul’s constituency, Shah highlighted that 13,672 people from Amethi, Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency, were working in Gujarat. He added that Rahul had not done anything for the development of his own constituency and he was hoping to win the Gujarat polls.

“Even after 70 years of independence, there is no collector’s office in Amethi and he (Gandhi) comes to teach us development,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his happiness over the splendid victory in Uttar Pradesh. He said that once again the development had won and people had imposed their faith in BJP. It seems like the destiny is in favor of BJP or for that matter in favor of Narendra Modi. He had been receiving a lot of criticism over demonetization and the flawed implementation of GST.

Congress along with other political parties were pulling down on Modi for the slowing economy and experts were also of the view that this might hamper the party’s image. However, the results of the UP civic polls have proved everyone wrong, clearly indicating that the people are still supporting the BJP.

On the victory of BJP, Narendra Modi said that “Yogi-ji (Yogi Adityanath) became the chief minister after the people of UP gave three-fourths majority to the BJP. That victory had come amid negative propaganda against our decision of demonetization. This time, some people created a huge uproar against the GST, claiming that the BJP would never come to power due to this decision.”

Taking it an opportunity to further boost the agendas of the party, and indicating that BJP will register a similar thumping victory in Gujarat Modi said that “Be it our stand on triple talaq or our decision to implement the GST, the country’s voters want to progress and India’s well-being. And, as we know, as soon as winter sets in UP, Gujarat too feels that cold air after some time. That air has already reached here.”

With the new data released on GDP, it has doubled the enthusiasm of Narendra Modi and silenced all the critics. Modi while addressing over 7,500 women BJP workers, in Gujarat through a video conference, Modi expressed his happiness of good news pouring in from all sides. He said that “After we took the decisions of the note ban and GST (roll out) some people had started claiming that India is now finished. They said that India has entered a dark age. Amid that hue and cry, India has once again started moving forward with confidence. Yesterday, it was announced that our GDP has grown by 6.3 percent. Just when we were relishing that moment, people of UP did wonders. We are getting good news at regular intervals now.”

Amid the intense election campaign in Gujarat, this victory of the Uttar Pradesh civic polls is like a boon for BJP. There is no doubt that the assembly elections in UP were fought putting forward the name of BJP’s national face Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but the local body elections were all headed by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. It will not be an exaggeration if the credit for this victory given to Yogi.

Unlike his rivals, former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, Yogi Adityanath himself took the charge for campaigning the civic polls. Many also raised eyebrows, that being a Chief Minister why was Yogi himself campaigning for the elections. But the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister did not hesitate even a bit and was all prepared to take the ownership of a win or a loss.

After the historic victory, Yogi Adityanath, without naming Rahul Gandhi, advised the Congress Vice President to remain grounded and not fly too high. “It will be better for those criticising the Gujarat model of development that they learn from the defeat in Amethi civic polls and come on the ground to do some work, rather than loosing arrows in the air,” he said.

Attacking the Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who seem to share good friendship, Yogi Adityanath said that after the splendid win of BJP, these two leaders should be given a farewell.

In his statement to the press, Yogi claimed that keeping in view the results of the civic polls, BJP  will win all 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh in the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019. He also credited the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP Party President Amit Shah for the victory.

Soon after the results were announced, during a press conference, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister also took a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi and Congress saying that “The results should be an eye-opener for those who are dreaming of a victory in Gujarat. He (read Rahul) could not win a single mayoral seat and was wiped out in his own parliamentary constituency in Amethi and still talks about winning Gujarat polls.”

He also claimed that the UP polls results will definitely have an impact on the Gujarat assembly elections and will be in favor of the BJP as by extending complete support to the BJP, the people have proved that they are with development.
People in Uttar Pradesh have rallied behind the policies and development agenda being pursued by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government at the Centre and state. Results will certainly impact Gujarat polls,” he said.
Thanking the voters, party workers and leaders, media and the State Election Commission for ensuring free, fair and violence-free polls, he said that “Historic results have increased our responsibility and accountability to stand to people’s expectations in carrying forward the development agenda.”
Along with many other BJP leaders, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani also hailed the victory of BJP in Amethi and made scathing attacks Congress and Rahul Gandhi. Irani had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Amethi against Rahul Gandhi. She congratulated the party workers for the “triumph of development”. She also thanked the voters for believing in BJP and voting for the party and registering a win in Congress constituency Amethi.
“Congratulations to the dedicated workers from Amethi region for the #VikasKiJeet (victory of development). Thanks to people of Amethi for blessing @BJP4India (sic),” she tweeted.
Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore also hailed the party’s victory. “People have resoundingly chosen development! Congrats to @BJP4UP & @myogiadityanath ji for a massive victory in #UPCivicPolls2017! The people have spoken. The mandate is overwhelmingly for PM @narendramodi ji’s agenda of “Sab ka Saath, sab ka Vikas”! (sic),” he tweeted.
While the tremendous victory of BJP in the Uttar Pradesh civic election, is being celebrated by the party and it has surely made it even more confident over the victory in Gujarat assembly elections, some are also of the opinion that “BJP is reaping the benefits of its honeymoon period in the state.” The political experts are of the view that the victory of BJP is only a goodwill gesture from the voters than anything else.
Dr. Sandeep Shastri, a political scientist and the director of Jain University’s Centre for Research in Social Science and Education said that BJP has not even completed one year in Uttar Pradesh and added that the party is only reaping the benefits of its honeymoon period in Uttar Pradesh.
“The people of the state want to see the government working. It has not been even a year since the people of Uttar Pradesh gave the  BJP a majority and now they want to see the BJP even in the local bodies,” he said.
Political experts are also of the view that, there might not be any direct relation between electoral victory or defeat in one state and its impact on another state. But it also entirely depends upon the party leaders who they take the opportunity. Taking account of the previous local body elections and BJP’s reaction to it, the party has always grabbed the chance to put it in their favor.
Results of Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Odisha panchayat polls and such other local body polls held in other states had become a big talking point, in the media and in election rallies held by BJP leaders in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. And a similar scenario is very much possible in Gujarat also.
BJP will surely use it as a positive factor for the party and will boast about it during its elections campaigns in whatever few days are left ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat. Though it may be too early to say that the results of the UP elections have adversely affected the Congress, who is fighting hard for survival and make its presence be felt in the rapidly changing political equations in India, it has surely put the party on backfoot and lowered the confidence of the party members.
The Gujarat elections are very crucial and are being regarded as the biggest elections after the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as it will also further pave the path for BJP for the Lok Sabha elections due in 2019.
Though after the UP win, BJP is claiming to nail 150+ seats in Gujarat, whether or not the UP civic polls had any impact on Gujarat polls will be known only on 18 Dec, when the results for both the phases of the Gujarat assembly elections will be declared.