The people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh are giving their verdict on the ruling parties in their states, the BJP in the former and the Congress in the latter. Since 1990, Himachal is choosing the ruling party alternately and this is the turn of the BJP. However the Congress is leaving no stone unturned to retain power. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his poll campaign used every possible ugly adjective against the Congress. He said the Congress was ‘a laughing club’, it was a ‘rotten thought’ and it was responsible for every social evil and thus tried every trick to mislead the people. But the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi spoke of issues and problems faced by the people. He even asked his co-campaigners not to speak anything against Prime Minister to attack him personally. As expected, he gave decency and decorum to the poll campaign.
However, the most important elections are being held in Gujarat where the BJP is ruling the roost for more than two decades. Narendra Modi ruled his home state for more than a decade and according to him he made it a model state. The BJP is straining every nerve to retain power in the face of the winds blowing against it. The incumbency factor is most prominent and the imposition of GST is the most irksome element for the trading class which always voted BJP in the past. The revival of the Congress is already evident as the party swept the civic polls. The BJP said Congress exploited local issues and the popularity of Narendra Modi is intact. After Narendra Modi, Chief Ministers Anandiben Patel and the current one Vijay Rupani made a mess of the administration and damaged the popular image of the ruling party. Patels and OBCs votes have apparently shifted from the BJP to Congress. Against this background, Rahul Gandhi has attracted huge crowds in his rallies. He has been meeting different sections of the society and assuring them that the state would be put on the normal track and deficiencies of the GST would be removed.
Once Gujarat has gone from the hands of BJP, it will have definite impact on the coming assembly polls in other states and that will decide the fate of the Modi government in 2019.