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Modi is blown away

Monday May 18, 2009 12:27:14 PM, Abdul Hafiz Lakhani


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Indian Muslims and the 2009 Elections

Sikhs fought their own battle, Muslims want others to do so

India's all-important Muslim vote

BJP wins Malegaon, Shiv Sena grabs Aurangabad

Congress claims victory, UPA tops poll battle

Congress to stake claim for govt formation

Left bastion crumbles in Kerala, West Bengal

Badruddin Ajmal leading by a margin of 1 lakh votes

Ahmedabad: The poll results have not only put to rest the talk about Modi's "mass appeal" and "charisma", but have also prompted attacks on him from within the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). BJP leaders are also saying it was probably a mistake to have projected him as a future prime minister.

But in the status quo lies a major loss of face for Narendra Modi. Unlike in 2004, this time Modi assumed the role of one of the lead campaigners for BJP, was touted as a dynamo of development and projected as the party's prime ministerial aspirant for the next Lok Sabha polls. Considering his top billing, the fact that under him the party actually lost vote share in his state shows up the limits of his appeal.

Results of Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat have nothing much to console Bharatiya Janata Party and its star campaigners the Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. BJP has won 15 seats in Gujarat, one more than the seats it had got in 2004 elections.

The victory by one seat in the state which has 26 parliamentary constituencies may give numerical edge to BJP to boast positive achievement, but the performance of candidates in the election battle reflects a sad story of BJP.

For almost one year BJP was projecting Advani as its Prime Minister candidate and like US elections it wove its entire campaign round Advani. However, from the word go for these elections, anti Advani mood of voters of Gandhinagar constituency was evident and really became a tough challenge by the last week of the elections.

Advani, Modi and team of senior BJP leaders had to work overtime for crisis management to plug the holes Congress candidate Suresh Patel drilled in Advani’s bastion. Even after the polling, BJP managers felt panic waves on possibility of Advani defeat. Though Advani has won, his margin has been drastically reduced giving Suresh Patel a sense of satisfaction of dignified defeat by 1,21,747 votes. Last time, Advani had won this seat by 2,17,000 votes.

In Gandhinagar constituency Advani polled 4.34 lakh votes while Patel got 3.12 lakh votes. Reduction in victory margin by almost half in the background of extra time efforts by BJP leaders is certainly a very costly victory for the Prime Ministerial candidate.

BJP leaders are trying to turn the defeat of two union ministers Naran Rathwa and Shankarsinh Vaghela as prize catch in Gujarat. Vaghela is no doubt a big gun. He lost in Panchmahal he lost to Prabhatsinh Chauhan of BJP by over 2000 votes. It was not a keen tussle between Vaghela and Chauhan that brought humiliation to the great BJP rebel Vaghela. Two candidates, one of BJP and a muslim candidate of LJP have got 34,000 votes in Panchmahal. That proved a fatal blow to the ballot prospectus of Vaghela and not the ballot box of Chauhan.

Of the 26 seats, 15 have been won by BJP and ten by the Congress. The result of Kheda seat where Union Minister Dinsha Patel is contesting against BJP candidate is withheld because of problem in one EVM. Patel is already 305 votes ahead of BJP candidate. The EVM has votes of an area with Muslim votes only. Both Congress and BJP admit that Patel will be the victor.

This time BJP had more than half a dozen candidates from Congress. Though they had tainted record, BJP had chosen them because of their muscle sway in the area to make a clean sweep in the elections dropping many of its stalwarts on the pretext of new faces.


Something like old congress wine in new BJP bottle. Despite this logistics, the result is one up, with a pained and strained thumb!  







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