The dates of polling in Gujarat are nearing.The elections here are scheduled for 9th and 15th December, respectively. During the last five days the prime minister Narendra Modi as well as his bete noire Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi are to address several rallies not to miss any chance of enticing voters towards them at the last moment. Gujarat has been the traditional stronghold, bastion or hub of Bhartiya Janata Party and home turf of prime minister Modi where Modi ruled as its chief minister for more than a decade and the party is ruling for the last 22 protracted long years.
This election however is more a prestige issue for BJP and prime minister Narendra Modi than Congress which has nothing to lose much, already being in the opposition in the state as well as the centre. If the BJP wins as being predicted in majority of the opinion polls, the decisive win will boost the conviction that Modi is still the strongest and undisputable leader of the party who is bound to win the 2019 national elections as well but one thing also looks clear that even if the Congress gets defeated its tally in seats and enhancement in vote share is very much likely and is bound to enhance the prestige and position of Gandhi family scion Rahul Gandhi who is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the BJP loses in the state. But despite the poll predictions favoring BJP on factors such as Modi pride and polarisation of Hindutva vote all is not well for the BJP on issues such as demonetisation, GST and physically thrashing of the leaders and volunteers of the patidar community and not fufilling the demands of dalits and OBCs despite coming to power on the majority support of these communities since last two decades.
The Patels and the business community of Gujarat involved in the diamond, textile and the powerloom trade including the small and medium traders had been the worst sufferers on account of demonetisation and GST with thousands of powerlooms being closed and about more than 40 thousand workers losing their jobs. The state of Gujarat has witnessed the hugest ever rally of traders against GST castigating BJP government at the centre and state for wrongly implementing them and emphatically demanding its reversal.
Similarly, hundreds of patidars and its leaders were badly thrashed and their dignity hurt when the government registered false and dreaded cases of “Desh droh” etc against them and put them behind bars. The patidars, OBCs and the dalits are also badly disenchanted with the state’ s ruling establishment and their leaders like Hardik, Alpesh and Jignesh has now openly sided with the Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi to teachBJP a strong lesson.
The increasing tirade of Congress president Rahul Gandhi against Narendra Modi and the state government on various issues like expensive Rafale purchase, increasing unemployment, Amit Shah son’s bank account issue, aftermath ill effects of demonetisation and GST and his largely attended meetings has undoubtedly created ripples in Modi camp and today more than fifty ministers of central and state governments are busy campaigning with the entire state machinery entangled in the anti Rahul Gandhi tirade .
This definitely speaks of the fact that Rahul Gandhi and the leaders of patidar, dalit and OBC communities viz Hardik, Alpesh and Jignesh Bhawani have collectively disturbed and shaken the confidence of the prime minister Modi as well as the national BJP chief Amit Shah who despite opinion poll predictions are taking no risk to leave Gujarat unattended even for a second.
Such fear of the anti BJP parties sends one message loud and clear that even if BJP wins (but) the percentage of votes and seats in the state assembly are bound to decrease and therefore, the party high command is not taking any chances, come what may. However, after the resounding victory of the saffron party in the recently held Uttar Pradesh elections have definitely upped the chances of BJP in Gujarat as every victory do gives a moral booster to the party’s chances in other states.
If we go by the previous record of a year or two, it’s BJP everywhere right from assembly elections of Assam to the municipal elections of UP where it also won the legislative elections resoundingly 8 months ago. Today it’s ruling in 18 states of the country having compelled the Congress go towards political extinction for the time being.