CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday said the slump in the number of seats held by the BJP in the Gujarat Assembly reflected the people's "anger and protest" against its policies, but admitted that the opposition had failed to capitalise on it.
He also said it was time for the opposition parties to come together with alternative policies to counter the BJP, instead of only banking on the leaders.
"They (BJP) might have won, but both the number of seats and the vote share have come down in comparison to 2014 (Lok Sabha polls) and 2012 (Gujarat Assembly polls). They have also failed to achieve their target of 150 seats. The election results are a reflection of the people's anger against the policies of the BJP," Yechury said at a press conference.
He said the people of Gujarat had not voted for the "Gujarat model of development", but against it, as they had suffered due to the GST rollout and demonetisation.
The Left leader alleged that the BJP had played the "communal polarisation card" during its poll campaign in order to stop the transformation of the people's anger against the GST and demonetisation into votes against the party.
"The BJP played the politics of dirty communal polarisation. The entire campaign was pitted in such a way that as if the fight was between Hindus and Muslims, just to derive electoral benefits," he added.
The opposition, however, had lessons to learn from the poll results, Yechury said.
"The anger of the masses alone does not ensure votes. You can only ensure votes by offering alternative policies. The fight has to be between policies, not between political leaders," he added.
The BJP on Monday retained Gujarat but opposition Congress gave it a tough fight in a bitterly-fought election.