Gujarat polls: All the controversies and theories that shrouded the polls

Updated: Dec 19, 2017, 13:40 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

The Congress, which had won 61 seats in the 2012 elections, made handsome gains, adding 16 seats to its tally, but they were not enough for a majority

Conspiracy theories and jibes

Mani Shankar Aiyar
Mani Shankar Aiyar

December 7
Aiyar calls PM 'Neech Aadmi'
Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, in response to Modi's comment that the Congress party had failed to recognize Dr BR Ambedkar's contributions in nation-building, called the PM a 'neech aadmi' or low-life. Aiyar was suspended for the jibe.

December 9
'Supari' in Pakistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar of giving 'supari' (contract) while on a visit to Pakistan to get him "removed" from the way to ensure peace between India and the neighbouring country.

December 11
PM's Pak theory
Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleged Pakistan was interfering in the Gujarat Assembly polls, and sought an explanation from the Congress over its top party men said to have recently met leaders from the neighboring country. "There were media reports yesterday about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. It was attended by Pakistan's high commissioner, Pakistan's former foreign minister, India's former vice president and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh," Modi said.

December 12
Manmohan Singh hits back
In a sharp counter-offensive to the 'conspiracy with Pakistan' remark, former premier Manmohan Singh said he was setting a "dangerous precedent" with his "ill-thought transgression" and asked him to apologize to the nation. In a strongly worded statement, Singh rejected as "innuendos and falsehoods" Modi's comments, saying he did not discuss the Gujarat Assembly elections with anyone at the dinner.

December 12
Mushroom melee
Congress leader Alpesh Thakor claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who used to be "dark like him," has become "fair" as he reportedly eats imported mushrooms every day. The OBC leader said somebody told him that everyday, Modi eats five of the mushrooms that come all the way from Taiwan, each costing Rs 80,000.

What else went down?

Gujarat was NOTA having it
Gujarat voters have emerged to be twice as likely to reject all candidates in the fray, compared to their counterparts in Himachal Pradesh, with over 5.5 lakh in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state opting for the NOTA (None of the above) button. In percentage terms, 1.8 per cent voters in Gujarat pressed the NOTA button on EVMs in Gujarat, as against 0.9 per cent in the hill state (over 33,000 voters).

Nail-biting victory margins
The BJP and Congress were locked in a nail-biting contest in at least 16 seats in Gujarat, where the victory margin was less than 2,000 votes and of just about 200 votes in a few. At many places, independent candidates, primarily rebels, cut votes of either of the two main parties. However, there were at least eight seats, where Congress candidates trailed their nearest rivals by less than 2,000 votes.

Loss in Modi's hometown
Although the BJP retained power in Gujarat, it lost the Unjha assembly constituency in Mehsana district, which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hometown Vadnagar, to Congress. Congress candidate Asha Patel defeated BJP nominee and sitting MLA Narayan Patel with a comfortable margin of over 19,000 votes to win the Unjha seat. The 79-year-old BJP veteran had defeated Asha Patel (40) in the 2012 assembly elections.

For Sena, Cong the real winner
BJP's bickering ally, the Shiv Sena, yesterday said it was the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, which had emerged as the "real winner" in the election. Coming to power was no "big thing", Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, "Although you see the BJP coming to power, the real winner is the Congress party. They may have lost, but have defeated the BJP."

182
Total no. of seats in the Gujarat Assembly

92
No. of seats needed for a majority

1998
Year since BJP has been in power in Gujarat

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