Gujarat for the BJP
The election to the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat is going to be held in two phases, the first phase will be on 1st December and the second phase will be held on 5th December. Election results will be announced on 8th December for both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. So far BJP and Congress have been competing in election with each other, but in this election, after winning the election in Punjab, the confidence of AamAadmi Party has increased and Arvind Kejriwal claims that his party will fight with BJP head on.
For the last 27 years, the BJP has a monopoly in Gujarat. Ever since Narendra Modi took over the command of Gujarat, he has been the face of the party and winning elections has been a piece of cake. Along with development in Gujarat, Hindutva also plays a big role in winning elections. For this reason, Arvind Kejriwal, a leader who considers himself secular, used a strategy to recommend a picture of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi on Indian currency to woo Hindu votes.
Before 1995, Congress used to contest elections on the issues of KHAM (Kshatriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim) theory to win. BJP fights elections on the basis of Hindutva and after Godhra incident, defeating BJP in Gujarat was not difficult but impossible. After Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, three Chief Ministers ruled in Gujarat which include Anandiben Patel, Vijay Rupani and Bhupendra Patel.
BJP and Narendra Modi will try to win this election with a development agenda and good governance For Modi, the election of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly is a prestige issue. If we look at the 2017 assembly election, then the condition of BJP could not be said to be that good. BJP won on 99 seats while the Congress on 77. If you look by vote percentage, then BJP got 49. 5 per cent when Congress got 41.44 percent. There was a lot of such seats in Gujarat in which BJP and Congress candidates won by less than 5000 to 1000 votes in 2017.
This time the AamAadmi Party has also jumped with aim to enter in Gujarat after Punjab. AAP and the Congress, both the parties do not have any local face, although the BJP does not have it, the magic of Modi is not the same as before but still in Gujarat. However, 8 out of 10 people are saying that BJP will form the government in Gujarat.
For the last 27 years, Gujarat has been ruled by the BJP and there is a lot of displeasure in front of the government. Congress and AamAadmi Party will capitalize on these issues a lot besides Morbi bridge which was broken and 135 people have lost their lives.
Talking about the caste politics of Gujarat elections, the BJP has included Hardik Patel in its camp to cater to the important Patidar fraternity, due to which it is believed that the votes of PatidarPatels could go to BJP but it is not necessary. Fairly a few Patidars are angry this time too. There are many Patels like Nitin Patel whom BJP may not give ticket and they may try to damage the image of the party.
The total population in the state are viz OBC 52 percent, Kshatriya 6 percent, Patidar 16, Dalit 7 Adivasi 11 and Muslim population is 9 percent, while Brahmins, Banias and other castes together constitute five percent voters.
The BJP will insist on Patidar and OBC votes while the Congress still puts hope on tribal voters residing in villages and they also may get votes. Congress can also get Muslim votes. While the AamAadmi Party is promising free electricity up to 300 units along with a women’s allowance of Rs 1000 and an unemployment allowance of Rs 3000.
Gujarat is called the laboratory of Hindutva for the BJP, but this time the election will not be as easy as it is. unemployment and rising prices of everything are also a big issue. It remains to be seen how many seats the BJP takes in the name of development and Hindutva.
It is difficult to say something at present, but the BJP may get 100 to 110 seats Congress around 50 and AamAadmi Party on eight to ten seats.
By Geeta Dave Ahmedabad