The ruling BJP today said the results in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh election proved that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity was intact despite tough reforms. The party also saw its latest victories having a direct impact on Congress-ruled Karnataka, where polls are due early next year.
- Congress is losing and the BJP is retaining: BJP's Karnataka in-charge
- Karnataka will have same fate as Himachal Pradesh, said Murlidhar Rao
- Karnataka goes to polls early next year
"This poll is very important for the country. People are watching the Gujarat poll as it will have an impact on the 2019 general election and the coming Karnataka election,"Murlidhar Rao, the BJP's Karnataka in-charge, told NDTV.
div id='ndtvrelcontent'></div>Mr Rao said the Congress had lost another from its meagre list of states - Himachal Pradesh. "So the Congress is losing and the BJP is retaining," he remarked, predicting the same fate for Karnataka.
"Karnataka is the only important state that the Congress is ruling now. We will clinch Karnataka from the Congress."
The BJP is set to close at 100-plus in Gujarat and easily win Himachal Pradesh.
After a brief scare in the morning, when the Congress seemed to be closing in, the BJP finally started celebrating in right earnest after 10 am, when it established a comfortable gap.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashed the "v" for victory sign as he walked into parliament in Delhi, buoyed by a fifth straight win in his home state - a big test of decisions he took in the last three years including demonetization and Goods and Services Tax or GST.
"We have set a record in the history of the BJP by winning six consecutive polls: four assembly and two general elections. Anti-incumbency is not working in Gujarat," said BJP's Shyam Jaju.
But at a time when it seemed close in Gujarat, the BJP faced tense moments. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya said:
"Trends so far show it was a tough fight, we will analyse it...Sometimes we are not able to put across our message to the voter. It happens in elections. But it is still too early to say anything."
According to trends available, the BJP was leading in 101 of the 182 assembly segments in Gujarat. The Congress was leading in 74 constituencies.