Bihar’s deputy chief minister, Sushil Kumar Modi, on Monday confirmed that the BJP’s win in Gujarat was a victory of RAM over HAJ.
Modi also attached a press release in his tweet, where he explained what he meant by his use of HAJ and Ram analogy. He said that HAJ stood for the combination of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani, while RAM signified Vijay Rupani, Amit Shah and Narendra Modi.
The BJP had made several references to Ram and Haj during the election campaign allegedly in a bid to communalise the polls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had come under fire on many occasions for invoking religion during his campaign, when asked Congress to choose between ‘temple and mosque.’ His act was widely perceived to be in gross violation of the Supreme Court order banning the attempts to seek votes in the name of religion.
Sushil Modi’s tweet in Hindi said, “Stamp on Narendra Modi’s policies, In Gujarat, it was the victory of Ram over Haj.’
नमो की नीति पर मुहर, गुजरात में ‘हज’ पर ‘राम’ की जीत pic.twitter.com/kpH43KXg0J
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) December 18, 2017
Haj is an annual pilgrimage taken by Muslims when they travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
As the results from Gujarat poured in, every BJP leader on Monday sought to claim that the the party’s ability to retain its government in Gujarat were indicative of the voters’ approval of the development work undertaken by the BJP government.
But many RSS and BJP leaders told Janta Ka Reporter in confidence that the BJP had won Gujarat polls because of the party’s Hindutva politics.
One RSS leader, wishing not to be identified, said, “We simply couldn’t afford to lose Gujarat. This has been the Hindutva lab for us for many years. We had to win the state at any cost as a defeat here would have been catastrophic for the Hindutva ideology.”
The fact that the BJP could barely win 99 seats, 16 less than 2012, shows the level of anger among the voters against the BJP, which has governed the western Indian coastal state for 22 years. It was also a prestige battle for Narendra Modi as he governed the state for 13 years before becoming the prime minister.
There were at least 12 seats, where the saffron party candidates won by a wafer thin margin. Had independent, BSP and NCP not spoiled the party for the Congress, the BJP may well have failed to secure the majority in the 182-seat Gujarat assembly.