Gujarat ‘one-sided’, Himachal and Delhi results ‘harbinger of change’: Congress-NCP

The election outcome in Gujarat is ‘one-sided as anticipated, but the poll results in Himachal Pradesh and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) are ‘harbingers of political change, said Maharashtra opposition parties, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, here on Thursday.

“There was no doubt in anyone’s mind about the Gujarat verdict… All the power of the country was used to achieve that, decisions were taken specifically to favour one state, efforts were made to divert many development projects there,” said NCP President Sharad Pawar.

State Congress President Nana Patole said that barring Gujarat, the other election outcomes have been satisfactory, particularly in Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress ousted the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the home-state of its president J.P. Nadda.

“Even in the MCD, the BJP, which was in power for 15 years, has been removed, while the Congress candidates won in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh by-elections. The BJP lost the MCD polls, in Himachal Pradesh and could retain power only in Gujarat… The countdown has begun,” Patole said.

Pawar said the Gujarat victory doesn’t in any way convey that electoral politics is becoming one-sided in the country, as he referred to the MCD polls where the BJP had to bite the dust even after 15-year rule, and Himachal Pradesh, where the Congress returned to power after trouncing the ruling BJP.

“This means that political change has begun, though gradually, and the political vacuum is being filled up. People today want change and the process has started,” Pawar pointed out.

Referring to Maharashtra, Pawar said there is an emptiness in the state and the NCP has the strength to provide an ‘alternative’ government to the people for which the party must work very hard.

Terming the day’s electoral verdicts as a pointer to “the inevitable” change even at the Centre, Patole said the outcomes in Himachal Pradesh and state bypolls will be a turning point in Indian politics.

“The BJP has misused all Central agencies, including the ED, CBI and ECI. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others had to camp and campaign in Gujarat for a month, yet the BJP was ousted in Nadda’s stronghold Himachal,” Patole said.

He also referred to claims that there is ‘No Alternative to Modi’, and said that Thursday’s results have punctured the theory as people have shown faith in the leadership of Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.

“The reality is that people are tired of BJP’s politics of hatred, decline in the economy, rising inflation, spiralling unemployment and other major issues which are reflected in the election results. Now no force can stop the progress of the opposition to transform the country,” Patole said.

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