It was a decision that had already been made. Around 4pm on Monday (December 18), with the BJP having already won 68 seats and leading in 31 in Gujarat – Congress had won 60 and was leading in 17 at the time – BJP President Amit Shah arrived at the BJP office for his press conference. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already been showing the ‘V’ for victory sign and Shah was there to seal the victory result.
At that point in Himachal Pradesh the BJP had already won 17 seats, leading in another 27, while Congress had won 8, leading in another 13.
Around 4.07pm Shah sat down and said that the double victory of the BJP signified the defeat of the politics of appeasement and the victory for the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
He also thanked the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for the victory.
He said that after 70 years there has been a big change in the political fabric of the country and added that he is sure that this blessing of the people will be taken by the party towards further developmental projects.
He said that the victories were the result of PM Modi’s pro-people policies. He said that the BJP rejected the politics of caste and that was why prominent Congress leaders lost. It is also the victory of the hard work of BJP workers.
Meanwhile, in Himachal, Virbhadra Singh of the Congress said: “I accept the BJP’s victory. As Chief Minister I take full responsibility for our performance here. Hope Vikramaditya Singh keeps winning in future like he did today.”
Congress replies with dignity
The Congress took defeat with dignity. Its new president Rahul Gandhi’s office tweeted: “The Congress party accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both states. I thank the people of Gujarat and Himachal with all my heart for the love they showed me…. The Congress party accepts the verdict of the people and congratulates the new governments in both states. I thank the people of Gujarat and Himachal with all my heart for the love they showed me.”
Rahul went on to add: “My Congress brothers and sisters, you have made me very proud. You are different than those you fought because you fought anger with dignity. You have demonstrated to everyone that the Congress’s greatest strength is its decency and courage.”
—India Legal Bureau