Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) chief Amit Shah thanked voters across all five states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab – for giving their support to the party. “We are forming governments in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. I thank the electorate there. This victory is due to the efforts put in by the thousands of party workers across the state,” he said.
A visibly happy Shah also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his vision and direction. “Election results show Narendra Modi is most popular leader after independence,” Amit Shah said. “Even opposition will have to accept Narendra Modi who has emerged as the most popular leader post independence,” he added.
“We will welcome Modiji tomorrow at 6 p.m. After that the BJP Parliamentary Board will meet. At that meeting, we will decide who will lead the government in the four states,” Shah stated.
On top of a sweeping win in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party had won 14 seats and was leading in 44 others, puncturing the ruling Congress.
The Congress suffered a rout, with Chief Minister Harish Rawat losing from both the seats he contested: Haridwar Rural and Kichcha.
Rawat lost to Yatiswaranand of the BJP by 12,278 votes in Haridwar Rural and to Rajesh Shukla in Kichha by a slender 2,154 votes.
The Congress said he was set to resign later on Saturday. He is expected to remain in office until the BJP picks a new Chief Minister.
The Congress had won only three seats and was leading in seven other places. In two constituencies, candidates of two other parties were in the lead.
As the election results began to pour in after the vote count began at 8 a.m., BJP activists and supporters celebrated at the party headquarters at Dehradun and all across the state.
Despondent Congress leaders admitted that they had not anticipated such a huge defeat although they were not confident of a victory either.
Prominent BJP winners or those on the victory lap included Ritu Khanduri, Kedar Singh, Satpal Maharaj, Bharat Singh, Madan Kaushik, Dhan Singh Rawat and Saurabh Bahuguna, son of former Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.