Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was on Thursday (December 20) well on the road to performing a hat-trick raising the prospects of becoming BJP's prime ministerial candidate while Congress ousted the saffron party from power in Himachal Pradesh. The BJP was leading in 95 seats after winning 23 of the 182 seats in Gujarat while Congress was ahead in 50 after winning eight. Former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel's GPP on which the Congress hoped to defeat Modi fared very badly. The NCP and JDU were leading in one seat each. The BJP looked set to marginally improve on its tally of 117 in the 2007 elections but may fall short of a two-third majority figure of 122. The Congress had won 59 in the last elections.
In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Navika Kumar, Political Editor; Anurag Singh Thakur, National President, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM); Smriti Irani, BJP MP; Sanjay Nirupam, Congress MP; Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal; Yogendra Yadav, Political analyst; Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal; V S Sampath, Chief Election Commissioner; Krishna Prasad, Editor-in-Chief, Outlook; Swaminathan Aiyar, Consulting Editor, Economic Times; Neerja Chowdhury, Senior Journalist; Manisha Priyam, Political Analyst; R Rajagopalan, Senior Journalist; Ajay Umat, Senior Editor, Times of India; S P Singh, Senior Journalist and Political Analyst; Hartosh Singh Bal, Political Editor, Open and Jai Mrug, Political Analyst, debates the victory of Narendra Modi in Gujarat.