Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, who is contesting from the Gandhinagar in Gujarat is headed for a big victory in his first Lok Sabha election. As we write this report, he is ahead of his rival Dr CJ Chawda of Congress by more than 1,75,000 votes.
Since the exit poll results, BJP camp has been in a celebratory mood. The early counting trends predict a comeback for BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for a second consecutive term.
Gandhinagar is considered a politically prestigious seat that has in the past been represented by party veterans including LK Advani. Advani had won this key seat six times, and five times consecutively since 1991.
This is the first time Shah is contesting Lok Sabha elections and is inching towards a historical win. Shah is a four-time MLA from Sarkhej winning in 1997 (by-election), 1998, 2002 and 2007. Considered a close confidant of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah’s stature rose in national politics after BJP captured 73 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh during 2014 general elections. Shah at that point was in charge of Uttar Pradesh. Subsequently, he went on to become the party president of BJP.
Under his leadership, the BJP achieved success in Legislative Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Assam in 2016, but lost the elections in Delhi, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh.
He led his party to victory in state elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Gujarat. He also worked to strengthen the party’s position in Manipur.