Gujarat Results: Seats in Single Digits, But AAP's Gains Bigger Than Its Losses
The AAP won just five seats in Gujarat, but it gained what it was actually looking for – the vote share.
The Quint DAILY
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The Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) performance in the Gujarat Assembly election has turned out to be way more underwhelming than what was projected, but the outcome was actually expected.
Most of its key candidates, including chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi and state chief Gopal Italia, lost to Bharatiya Janata Party candidates.
With a tally of five out of the 182 seats, the party has failed to even be the main Opposition in Gujarat, third only after the Congress that has won 17 seats in the state. But there's more to these numbers than what meets the eye.
First, a look at the reasons behind the AAP's failures in the state.
The two key reasons behind the AAP's failures:
The attempts to portray itself as the BJP's alternative and the soft Hindutva card it tried to play did not work in a state like Gujarat, where the BJP has mastered these skills over three decades now. Looking at the results, one can say that it has not managed to sway the core BJP votes as it had hoped.
Even though most people saw it as an alternative to the BJP and the Congress, the party was seen mostly as a hype on social media with minimal ground presence in semi-urban and rural areas. The organisational structures of the BJP and the Congress clearly stand stronger than the AAP's so far and are definitely more difficult to penetrate than it would have hoped.
What Did It Gain?
The vote share: For a party that contested the Assembly elections in the state for the first time, the AAP got a vote share of 12.91 percent, which is extremely significant. Trends suggest that a lot of voters have shifted from the Congress to the AAP, but those votes didn't necessarily convert into seats. The Congress itself has registered its lowest tally ever in the state so far.
National party status: With the rise in vote share, the AAP's performance in Gujarat now makes it eligible to be officially recognised as a national party. It needed to get a vote share of six percent and win two seats to attain become a state party.
A formidable third front: For the first time in decades, the state of Gujarat is seeing a third front, which has the potential to be a challenger to the BJP and the Congress. This is how the AAP's journey began in Punjab too, a state that it now rules. But of course, the voting patterns in both states differ. Nevertheless, it made enough noise in the past few months to become a household name in the state.
The AAP's gains in Gujarat are more significant than its losses, and it's a milestone in the party's 10-year-long existence that it can now be recognised as a national party.
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Topics: AAP AAP Crisis Gujarat Elections
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