Millennium Post

In the end, BJP's formidable organisational machinery sealed Cong fate

Ahmedabad: Despite the Congress bagging 80 of 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly elections, the elections exposed gaping holes in the party's organisational apparatus and showed that it is still no match for the cadre-based BJP, which has strong booth-level coordination complemented by the formidable RSS machinery. After the results were out on Monday the Congress leadership asserted that they expected a good mandate in many regions but failed to gain the trust of voters.
The Congress leadership also avouched that the party is disappointed at losing southern Gujarat, especially Surat, where former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a group discussion with local traders. All the 12 seats (Olpad, Mangrol, Mandvi, Kamrej, Surat East, Surat North, Varachha Road, Karanj, Limbayat, Udhna, Majura, Katargam, Surat West, Choryasi, Bardoli, Mahuva) of Surat were returned to the BJP, which shows the trade community has welcomed GST.
"We expected around 100 seats… but our weak organisational structure is the main reason for our defeat," admitted a senior Congress leader from Gujarat. He added that lack of funds was also a major factor for the sloppy campaign.
However, in a major gain the party managed to capitalise on the Patidar's trust in both Saurashtra region and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home district of Vadnagar. On the other side, in the Saurashtra region the BJP won 23 of 54 Assembly seats, Congress 30 seat and others 1.
The BJP seemed to gain a positive mandate in north, central and South Gujarat. Of the north region 32 seats, the BJP won 16, Congress 16 and others drew a blank. In the central region which has 68seats, the BJP bagged 36, Congress 23 and others 2. In the south region with 35 seats, the BJP won 25 and Congress 10.
Meanwhile, of the six Congress rebel MLAs who joined the BJP during contentious Rajya Sabha elections in August, only two won and four were defeated. Mansinh Chauhan (Balasinor), Ramsinh Parmar (Thasra), Tejashreeben (Viramgam) and Raghavji Patel (Jamnagar, rural) were defeated and only Jadeja Dharmendra Singh (Jamnagar city) and C K Raolji (Godhra) won.
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