Gujarat Verdict Makes Rahul Fulcrum of Oppn for 2019 Elections?

Every election has a silver lining.

3 min read
For Congress leaders, the party’s improved performance in Gujarat is indicative of their new president Rahul Gandhi’s effective leadership, and the beginning of his political story.

Every election has a silver lining. Despite losing in Gujarat, the Congress has improved on their 2012 performance and are earning accolades for Rahul Gandhi’s effective leadership. Not just from Congress, but also from across party lines. Is this the beginning of a new Opposition front against BJP in 2019 general elections?

Gujarat Belled the Cat for 2019: Mamata Banerjee

Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee called BJP’s victory in the state as a ‘temporary and face saving win’ and said that it shows a ‘moral defeat’ for the party.

Congress Should Take All Parties Along in 2019: Akhilesh Yadav

Commenting on the election trends in Gujarat, which show the BJP losing some ground to the Congress, Yadav said that regional parties and regional issues will have a role to play in the next general elections.

The BJP speaks of sabka sath, sabka vikas, but when we try to give justice to all sections of society, the same BJP calls it appeasement. We can build a strong country only with taking all people and all sections along. The elections should be fought on issues. Farmers’ distress, youth unemployment are issues. In 2019, you will see change.

Nitish Kumar Taunts Congress

Bihar Chief Minister, JD-U President and BJP ally Nitish Kumar has taunted the Congress, saying the party had claimed victory in Gujarat and it lost Himachal Pradesh too. He also congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah over the party winning in both states.

Start of Rahul Gandhi’s Political Story: Kamal Nath

For Congress leaders, the party’s improved performance in Gujarat is indicative of their new president Rahul Gandhi's effective leadership, and the beginning of his political story.

Congress leader Kamal Nath pointed out that Gujarat is a BJP bastion and Shashi Tharoor appreciated the fact that the “journey” has been good. Renuka Chowdhury also hailed Gandhi for his “brilliant intervention.”
Every election has its own message. Gujarat has been the BJP’s bastion. It is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Congress’ tally has gone up there, while the BJP’s numbers have fallen. This is the start of Rahul Gandhi’s political story. 
Kamal Nath, Congress leader

Brilliant Intervention by Gandhi: Renuka Chowdhury

Renuka Chowdhury seconded Kamal Nath and said,

Congress has done brilliantly. Our strength has increased. Morally, it has been a brilliant intervention by Rahul Gandhi. 
Renuka Chowdhury, Congress Leader

She also accused the prime minister of postponing the winter session in view of the assembly polls and taking personal swipes at opposition leaders during the poll campaign, marking a “new low” in public discourse.

Gandhi’s Campaign in Gujarat Was Very Effective: Shashi Tharoor

According to Shashi Tharoor, the jump in the Congress tally, according to trends, was due to Gandhi's “very effective” campaign in the state.

We may not have reached the destination, but our journey was good. 
Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP

In the last election result in 2012, the BJP won 115 seats and the Congress won 61 seats in Gujarat.

Non-politicians were also of the view that Congress may have lost, but Rahul Gandhi’s leadership proved to be strong for the long run. Pritish Nandy, Indian media and television personality, had this to say about Congress’ performance in Gujarat:

Journalist Swati Chaturvedi also weighed in and argued that Rahul Gandhi had nothing to be ‘ashamed of.’

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