AAP has created a history of sorts by winning 5 seats in the 182-seat assembly in Gujarat in its very first attempt at election in the state.
AAP’s performance in garnering vote share is also no less impressive. In its very first shot at assembly election in Gujarat, the party has bagged close to 13 per cent of vote share.
This has helped AAP to become a national party by virtue of getting more than 6 per cent vote share in four states of Delhi, Punjab, Goa and Gujarat.
In video telecast, Kejriwal congratulated all AAP workers and countrymen over achieving the milestone.
However, two of its most prominent leaders – chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi and state president Gopal Italia – have bitten the dust. The two are shock defeats for AAP.
Gadhvi lost to the BJP’s Mulubhai Bera from Khambhalia by more than 18,000 votes.
Italia lost the election to the BJP’s Vinodbhai Amarshibhai Moradiya by a margin of 64,627 votes from the Katargam constituency.
Both the constituencies are in the Surat belt where AAP had expected to perform its best.
Contesting for the first time in the municipal elections held in eight corporations of Gujarat – Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar and Junagadh – in 2021, AAP had performed decently in Surat.
Of the 120 seats in Surat Municipal Corporation, the BJP won 93 while the Congress failed to open its account. AAP, securing 28.58 per cent of the votes, won 27 seats and replaced the Congress as the opposition party.
However, belying the hope and claim of AAP supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, the two most prominent candidates of the party lost in the assembly election.
In fact, Kejriwal had given in writing that a third candidate Alpesh Katheria – from the Surat belt itself – would also win in the election. But besides Gadhvi and Italia, Katheria also lost from the Varachha Road constituency. He was defeated by the BJP’s Kishor Kanani Kumar.
The BJP has contested two elections in Kerala but it has neither been able to win more than one seat nor it has touched 12 per cent vote share.
BJP’s performance in Kerala
The BJP contested its first serious assembly election in Kerala in 2016.
It won just 1 out of the 140 assembly seats and garnered 10.53 per cent vote share.
The winner CPM won 58 seats and bagged 26.52 per cent vote share.
The runner up Congress won 22 seats and got 23.70 per cent vote share.
In the 2021 Kerala assembly election, the BJP failed to open its account. However, its vote share improved slightly to 11.3 per cent.
The winner CPM was victorious on 62 seats and it achieved a vote share of 25.38 per cent.
The Congress, which was the second largest party, won 21 seats bagging 25.12 per cent vote share.
BJP’s performance in Gujarat
In Gujarat, itself, the BJP has taken three elections to reach the second spot. It came to power in its fourth election in the state where it has been in power consecutively for the past 27 years.
In the 1980 Gujarat assembly election, the then ruling Congress won 141 of the 182 seats. The BJP, which was founded in the same year, contested its first assembly election in the state and won just 9 seats, its lowest tally so far in the 10 assembly elections it has contested in the state so far. It garnered a vote share of 19.98 per cent.
In the 1985 assembly election, the Congress registered victory on 149 seats. The BJP whose seats increased from 9 in 1980 to 11 in 1985, bagged a vote share of 14.96 per cent.
In the 1990 state poll, which threw up a hung assembly, Janata Dal (JD) was the single largest party by winning 70 seats. The BJP emerged as the second largest party by winning 67 seats and garnering 26.69 per cent vote share. The Congress, at 33 seats, came on the third spot.
It was in the 1995 election that the BJP won an absolute majority by registering victory on 121 seats and bagging 42.51 per cent.
By these standards, AAP’s performance in its debut election in Gujarat cannot be termed ordinary.