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With reference to “Saffron surge” (December 19), without an iota of doubt the Gujarat election was one of most bitter and hostile elections fought in recent times. Winning a state after ruling it continuously for 22 years is no mean achievement, irrespective of the fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 16 fewer seats than the last time. Not to forget the massive vote share of almost 50 per cent. And though the Congress has put the blame of this loss on EVM machines and claimed it to be a moral victory as it has increased its tally, it is high time it accepted the defeat gracefully. Few things came out clearly from this result; first and foremost, all the criticism of bold decisions like goods and services tax and demonetisation has failed because the BJP has won all the nine seats from Surat, which is a traders’ hub. It is not to be forgotten that Prime Minister Narendra Modi (pictured) himself has said that he is ready to bear the political consequences of these bold decisions. But voters of Gujarat has shown the faith in his leadership once again.
It was also heartening to see the prime minister in his speech say that he would forget the past and work for development with unity, clearly targetting the Patels and Patidars who were unhappy with the BJP. The Congress didn’t gain much from its alliances with Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani and Alpesh Thakore, as their impact was limited to certain pockets. Though the Patidars went with the Congress it was compensated by the tribals who rallied behind the BJP. The BJP will have to address the concerns of rural voters as they are dissatisfied with its policies — it may be better minimum support price or farm loan waiver. They need to be heard patiently and worked upon. It was sad that questions were raised against the constitutional body of Election Commission, after poll dates in Gujarat were differed from Himachal Pradesh and a showcause notice was issued to Congress President Rahul Gandhi. One lesson for the BJP is that despite its Himachal Pradesh win its chief ministerial candidate, Prem Kumar Dhumal, lost his seat. Thus, it needs to nurture more regional leaders and strengthen its bench. Rahul Gandhi needs to work hard to save one of Congress’ last bastions, Karnataka, where elections are due early next year.
Bal Govind Noida, December 20 Letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to: The Editor, Business Standard Nehru House, 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg New Delhi 110 002 Fax: (011) 23720201 • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org All letters must have a postal address and telephone number