Buoyed by the results of the Gujarat local body polls, the Congress on Wednesday predicted that the BJP government in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state was on its way out.
Many Congress leaders also felt that it was not just the Patel factor that played a role in the BJP’s defeat in rural areas, but that the anti-incumbency factor was finally catching up.
“Today’s results are a stepping stone for a Congress victory in 2017. The BJP’s anti-people policies have taken a toll on people. The results indicate the BJP government is on its way out in Gujarat,” said Ahmed Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary. The BJP government, he added, also paid a heavy price for its vindictive attitude and witchhunt of Patidar agitators.
AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat said that the BJP had witnessed a complete rout in areas represented by the PM, senior BJP leader L K Advani and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.
“We are seeing a clear continuation of the concept — whether it is Delhi, Bihar and now Gujarat,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said. Kamat said the way the BJP and the state government had handled local issues, including law and order, evoked a sharp reaction, sending the message that “attitude of intolerance will not be tolerated.”
The Congress has recently been making statements that are sympathetic to the Patidar agitation. On Tuesday, Congresss vice-president Rahul Gandhi spoke about how the Gujarat government has filed 20,000 FIRs against Patidar agitators.