It is very clear that the clash of votes in both states is between the two biggest parties of the Indian democracy – the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). However, the primary clash between the two is a fight of honour and reputation.
Himachal Pradesh is amongst the few remains of honour that help Congress qualify as a national party, whereas Gujarat is an age-old stronghold of BJP. Both parties are playing their cards to reassure voters of their virtues and ambitions.
The trend of winning the legislative assembly election in Himachal since 1985 have remained alternative between the two parties. As the incumbent rule is that of Congress, the BJP is looking forward to registering an easy win in the state.
The Congress, on the other hand, is trying hard to save the remains of their empire. Nevertheless, if the Congress manages to win the election and BJP loses, it’ll be a big blow to the latter. The breaking of a trend that is more than 30 years old will not only serve as a bonus platter for the Congress but will also increase the number of stones on the road of BJP that leads towards the 2019 General election.
The BJP, for the first time, will face people’s standpoint on their much-discussed structural reform of GST and demonetisation.
Gujarat, however, remains the central focus of both parties. The BJP has been ruling the state since 1991. Despite the Godhra train massacre and Ahmadabad riots of 2002 during its reign, it has managed to lodge a grand win of 127, 117 and 115 seats in the assembly election of 2002,2007 and 2012 respectively.
However, this time, Gujarat’s election result will be the people’s decision about whether or not have they accepted demonetisation and GST. This is because Gujarat is a prime hub for the business class and middle-class population that has suffered a setback due to the rollout of GST and demonetisation.
Moreover, all credits for ‘The NaMo effect’ that created the iconic face value of Narendra Modi goes to the development model of Gujarat. If the BJP loses in Gujarat, it will not only place a question on the development model but altogether on the face value of Modi.
For the Congress, on the other hand, Gujarat shall be a magnificent victory because it will be a morale boost up for them in the upcoming general election. Also, if they defeat the BJP in Gujarat, it shall be a defeat of Amit Shah and Narendra Modi, because both the top faces belong to Gujarat. If the people of their home state rejects the two political giants, BJP will need to find an immediate list of reasons for convincing the people of other states and the country to vote for them in 2019.
The election result for both states will come on December 18. As the voters will wait for the next government in their states, the rest of the nation will be waiting to see the war of reputation that will unfold with the results. Ironically, in the world’s largest democracy, the mandate will not be for the people but for the honour of the parties ruling them.