The exit polls are out and the BJP is the clear winner in both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. The Gujarat battle was in fact more closely watched and all exit polls now say that the BJP is the clear winner.
While there may be much for the BJP to rejoice, there is also some soul searching that needs to be done. The headline reads the BJP is retaining Gujarat. The deeper narrative however is that the BJP does not better its performance in the state when compared to 2012 says leading psephologist, Dr Sandeep Shastri.
The Congress has clearly not done enough explains Dr Shastri. To dislodge the BJP which has been in power, clearly a much bigger effort was needed, he says. For one, the Congress did not have a strong local leader on the ground. This was crucial for the Congress in case it had to beat the BJP in Gujarat.
These are all indications that the last mile advantage has gone to the BJP. The Gujarat voter clearly appears to have sided with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Somewhere the Gujarat voter thought that they did not want to strike a blow to their Prime Minister who hails from the state, says Dr Shastri.