If bypolls and civic polls are a referendum on demonetisation, then it looks as if Prime Minister Narendra Modi's gamble is paying off despite the chaos and suffering unleashed due to shoddy execution.
Tens days after Modi announced that his government was scrapping the Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes in order to curb black money and corruption, the Bharatiya Janata Party scored major victories in Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, while performing well in West Bengal and Tripura.
Three weeks into demonetisation, the BJP has swept the civic polls in Maharashtra and Gujarat, and once again its leaders are saying that these results prove that public sentiment is behind the BJP.
Out of the 126 seats being contested in the Gujarat civic polls, the BJP has won 109 seats, taking 40 seats from the Congress Party, which managed only 17 seats. In Maharashtra, BJP won 52 out of 147 municipal councils followed by the Shiv Sena (25), the Congress Party (22) and the Nationalist Congress Party (17).
In Maharashtra, the BJP seat tally went up from 396 in the 2011 civic polls to 851, the Congress Party's tally went down from 1,111 to less than 700, according to local reports.
"Opposition is observing Aakrosh Diwas and Bharat Bandh, on the other hand BJP is winning elections everywhere," BJP President Amit Shah said at a political rally in Maharganj in Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to reporters at the BJP headquarters in the capital, Human Resource Development minister Prakash Javadekar said, "The results have shown mirror to those opposing the Prime Minister's demonetisation move....The result is an eye-opener for the opposition and an indication of which way the wind is blowing."
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