Speaking for the first time on the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh election results, Congress president Rahul Gandhi stated his inference of the result. Though the Congress lost in both the states, Gandhi targeted the government and Prime Minister Modi, in particular, over the major reduction in tally of the incumbent.
He said Gujarat election results raise questions about Prime Minister Modi’s credibility, especially as he had led his party being the start campaigner and yet BJP registered a narrow victory in the state.
Criticising the oft-discussed phrase of ‘Gujarat model of development’, Rahul Gandhi described it as “good propaganda and marketing”, but “hollow from within”.
“I came to know there that people of Gujarat actually do not accept Modiji’s model,” the Congress president said while speaking to the reporters at Parliament House.
“Gujarat has given a message to the BJP and Modi that the anger within them would not work,” he said.
The BJP won 99 seats in the 182-member assembly, down from 115 it won in 2012, and far lower than the 150-plus seats it had hoped for. It is also the first time in 22 years that the BJP has ruled Gujarat that its tally has fallen below 99.
On the other hand, the Congress won 77 seats, up by 16 seats. However, it was its sixth defeat in a row in Gujarat. This time Rahul Gandhi led his party’s campaign and was actively seen courting allies – Alpesh Thakor (who had joined Congress), Jignesh Mewani (fought with Congress backing) and Hardik Patel (who sought votes against BJP).
Terming his party’s performance in Prime Minister Modi’s home state, he termed it a “very good result” for the Congress, and a moral victory.
“A big question has been raised on Modiji’s credibility. Frankly, Modiji has a credibility problem and he will find it very difficult… Because what he is saying, his forces and his organisation are repeating that,” he said.
“But the country is not listening to that. This, the Gujarat election has shown. In the coming times, you will see this clearly,” Rahul Gandhi said, adding “one can defeat opponents only with love and brotherhood”.
(With inputs from PTI)