A man holds election campaign material of the BJP and the Indian National Congress party ahead of the upcoming assembly elections in 2018. Photo: AFP / Noah Seelam
A man holds election campaign material of the BJP and the Indian National Congress party in 2018. Photo: AFP / Noah Seelam

The political parties with a predilection of vote capital have started campaigning for the general elections this year. The hawk eye is to remain on North belt, but states like Gujarat are not to be undermined.

The home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah has experienced an unexpected swing in the recent assembly elections which certainly came as a shocker for the ruling right wing.

The BJP lost 16 seats while Indian National Congress gained 20 seats. The rise of opposition Congress party pushed the BJP to revamp its strategy towards specific communities, especially the Patidars (Indian Hindu caste found mostly in Gujarat).

Hardik Patel, leader of the Patidar community did not agree with Nitin Patel, Gujarat’s deputy chief minister and a Patidar stalwart, hence the idea of pulling Patidars towards BJP collapsed. Hardik Patel, in the wake of the Maharashtra government granting reservation to Marathas (Indian caste in Maharashtra) channelized hope among the Patidar community towards getting reservation in education and jobs.

Patidar politics

The Gujarat politics is now at the zero-sum juncture. The Patidar reservation movement which was earlier expected to be a poll agenda has an insignificant role to play today.

The Patel community, with a 15% population, is scattered among different parties.

The induction of Patel into Congress may not affect the party’s vote share with just the Patidar agitation issue. Patel will have to mobilize voters on issues other than the Patidar reservation.

Statistics emanating from Assembly Elections 2017 show that Gujarat’s Surat which saw strong Patidar protests managed to secure only Mandvi, one non-BJP seat, out of sixteen constituencies.

Rajkot followed the same trend. The Congress secured only one seat of Dhoraji, while other seven seats went to BJP. Also, the vote margin remained high.

Congress should not give priority to only caste based politics ahead of India’s crucial election as it may not help.

Following the 2017 Assembly Elections, the dynamics of Gujarat politics has experienced a significant upheaval. The people who earlier used to remain un-influenced regarding national issues are now alarmed about un-employment, tax regime and national security.

This may provide anti-BJP sections an open opportunity to hit at Modi government and address its failures.

Revitalize Congress structure

According to a trend observed during the Assembly Elections, most urban seats went to BJP. One may observe that the urban population of Gujarat is highly pro-Hindutva.

Real issues like the agrarian crisis seemed to affect the urban people very loosely. Highly dependent on Gujarati media which are mostly pro-BJP, the urban class may not be deeply connected to the real issues of the state. While in rural Gujarat farmers are more aware of the state’s real problem like the agrarian distress.

This gives the Congress and other non-BJP parties time and opportunity to revamp their urban campaign strategies. The Congress has demonstrated its willingness to revitalize its party structure in Gujarat, including fielding local leaders for the upcoming elections.

The party has already managed to field local unit’s president Prashant Patel from Vadodara. Modi may also contest the election from Vadodara but Congress’ move to put a hardworking local leader against Modi is a political strategy and reform. This may also boost the party cadre.

Non-BJP sections currently have a poor state level leadership compared to BJP. Due to BJP’s presence in Gujarat since two decades, they have cultivated leaders who can easily connect with the voters, something which non-BJP parties fall back in.

The BJP had won all 26 parliamentary seats in Gujarat in 2014, while the Congress had lost 11 seats with an alarming fall in their vote share. But if we draw a parallel line against 2017 elections, chances are the Congress may be able to score if it plays its cards right.

Gujarat bastion a tough win

Congress’ central leadership from Gujarat with leaders like Ahmed Patel and Madhusudan Mistry should be concerned about the home state otherwise the Gujarat bastion will be a difficult to win. The party’s decision to send Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress president Rahul Gandh’s sister, to east Uttar Pradesh to garner votes is dramatic and not tightly planned.

Vadra, who chose Gujarat to deliver her speech as the general secretary of the party might have better influence in Gujarat than Purvanchal, a geographic region of northern India which comprises of eastern end of Uttar Pradesh and the western end of Bihar.

The recent assembly elections in Gujarat narrated a new political paradigm. With the rise of Chotubhai Vasava’s Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP), the neglected tribals have a new voice now. Ketanbhai Inamdar, one of independent MLAs joined the BJP after Congress’ reluctance. Shift of independent leaders like Inamdar towards BJP should make the non-BJP parties worried.

More recently, two Congress party MLAs tendered their resignations. One of them joined the ruling BJP later in the day while the other announced his decision to join the saffron party soon.

Manavadar MLA Jawahar Chavda gave his resignation to Gujarat Assembly Speaker Rajendra Trivedi on March 8, while Parsotam Sabariya, who represented Dhrangadhra seat in Morbi district, gave his resignation in the evening.

INC should work towards pre-poll alliance in Gujarat if it wants favorable results. The non-BJP parties should also keep in mind that only inclusive politics can dethrone divisive politics in the state.

Join the Conversation

645 Comments

  1. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!|

  2. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something concerning this.|

  3. Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa? My blog discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!|

  4. This is a truly fascinating website I must say.

    Too stale that there are not too varied websites like This anymore. But I am exhilarated that I develop it. Ok champion calligraphy on it .

    You can glom my website here as well: xbody

  5. You are so interesting! I do not suppose I’ve read through anything like this before.
    So wonderful to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed on the internet, someone with
    some originality!

  6. Abnormal this put up is totaly unrelated to what I was searching google for, but it surely used to be listed at the first page. I suppose your doing one thing proper if Google likes you adequate to place you at the first page of a non similar search.

  7. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues? Anybody who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!|

  8. I feel that is one of the such a lot significant information for me. And i am satisfied reading your article. However want to remark on few basic issues, The site style is wonderful, the articles is in reality nice : D. Good job, cheers|

  9. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Thank you!|

  10. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  11. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  12. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here!

    Good luck for the next!

  13. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say superb blog!|

  14. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone todo it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blogand would like to find out where u got this from.thank you

  15. After I originally commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service? Cheers!|

  16. Thanks for the marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back in the foreseeable future. I want to encourage you continue your great work, have a nice day!|

  17. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  18. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!|

  19. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. All the best|

  20. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using this website, since I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again soon.|

  21. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your blog. It appears as if some of the written text within your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This could be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before. Thank you|

  22. Great work! That is the type of info that are meant to be shared around the internet. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this put up upper! Come on over and consult with my web site . Thanks =)|

  23. Howdy! This post could not be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!|

  24. Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!|

  25. Appreciating the persistence you put into your website and in depth information you present. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  26. It’s very straightforward to find out any topic on web as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at this website.|

  27. Hello! I’ve been following your site for some time now and finally got the bravery
    to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *