Though I didn't delve deep into Gujarat or the Himachal elections, I do however think that the Gujarat election had less to do with minority appeasement or pseudo-secularism. Had it been so, BJP would have won massively and not by a thin margin, considering that Hindus are the dominant population in the state. From the results, it is apparent that Hindus have en masse voted for the Congress too and not just for the BJP, without bothering for the former's secular or pseudo-secular image.
This election was more about mud-slinging that both parties indulged in heavily. It was also about casteism, nepotism and corruption. The way caste politics got the better of the voters in Gujarat doesn't bode well for the rest of the country. The Congress too had been opportunistic taking the Patidars and the backward communities for a ride on the name of reservation and other favours. Among all these things, one thing that got a miss was development and improvement in the living standard of the people. One can safely assume that the BJP think tank was quite aware of the fact that development alone cannot win votes. At times, it is real politics that does the trick and the BJP was a shade better than its opponent in utilising the opportunities (The Mani Shankar fiasco and all that).
There is, however, a good thing about this election. As the election campaign progressed, Rahul Gandhi grew up as a more mature leader. The big fight that he and his party gave to the BJP is good for the democracy. For a strong democracy, a strong opposition is must too. The government can be then kept on its toes and the welfare of the people taken care of. But then we have to see how long he can maintain this tempo. Is he still a reluctant leader/politician or not, we will come to know in eighteen months from now. As for now Gujarat, Himachal and the country seem to be in safe hands.
Patience and perseverance pays