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As the dates of polling of Gujarat elections are nearing the political campaigning in the state is sharpening with Congress and BJP leaving no stone unturned to use all tactics to put each other down with their best abilities and maneuvrabilities.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah has made the Gujarat election a do and die issue leaving nothing unattended right from freebies of hundreds of crores to every tactics defaming the most talked about Patidar leader Hardik Patel and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi the latter are also going in every nook and corner of the state to target the BJP led NDA on issues of corruption like Rafale deal in which according to the Nehru Gandhi family scion lots of alleged corruption has been committed. Hardik too is not behind in trying to come out clean on the morphed CD issue charging the ruling BJP of stooping so low to damage the image of its rivals through such cheap plants of doctored CDs.

In the meanwhile the process of ticket distribution by both the parties have gained momentum. In BJP it is learnt that the prime minister Modi and BJP supremo Amit Shah are taking due personal interest in finalising every single ticket. If reliable sources are to be believed the Bhartiya Janata Party has almost finalised tickets of about 145 seats leaving the rest in abeyance intentionally waiting for leaders and prominent active workers of Patidar community close to Hardik Patel or Congress  join BJP.

The party is manipulating on dissertion from the Congress and Patidar camps and is ready to oblige them by giving tickets if their chances of winnability are strong and if they can challenge the Congress and Patidar leader Patel to make them weak in certain constituencies. The list of the BJP has been kept on hold on all the 182 constituencies though candidature on 145 already finalized.

Both the parties whether BJP or Congress are waiting for each other to declare their lists first, hoping for doing last minute favorable changes. Amit Shah, an expert politician and an organiser is very much aware that the BJP in Gujarat may confront the anti incumbency situation in majority of the seats as he is of the unambiguous opinion that it’s not the party in usual cases, primarily, but the candidates whose bad and non performing image accompany anti establishment trend, ultimately making the party to suffer.

It was this calculation of his that in Delhi elections and even in other municipal polls including that of Gujarat last time he issued directives for change of entire sitting candidates, not caring for the annoyance of the sitting corporators and his experiment really worked. Mind it this experiment have been tested in Gujarat municipalities when Modi was the state CM say sources.

In Delhi municipal corporation elections, despite the BJP having ruled for ten protracted years and having strong anti incumbency won hands down for the third time, giving the ruling party AAP and Congress a huge rebuff. Amit Shah therefore is applying the same yardstick in the Gujarat election and the BJP list may see many sitting MLAs losing their tickets with fresh faces having winnability prospects.

In addition to this strategy Shah is banking on more and more dissertions from Patidar Anamat Andolan Samittee to accomodate good number of Patidars as BJP candidate to counter the growing  socio political influence/ clout of Hardik Patel. Efforts are also on to woo Congress sitting or former MLA’s and a slot of 35 to 40 seats have been kept open to accomodate such persons with winnable chances. Just on Thursday the state BJP received a shot in the arm when one of the founding members’ of the Patidaar Anamat Andolan Samittee Chirag Patel joined the BJP giving Hardik a huge blow.

Chirag is the third important Patidar to have joined BJP after Varun Patel and Resham Patel. Chirag was very close to Hardik Patel and was extremely active and involved in the Patidar Andolan having been slaped with the cases of sedition along with Hardik and six others.

He was earlier the activist cum leader of AAP.  While the Bhartiya Janata Party is very serious on ticket distribution plank, Congress Party too is going very immaclately weighing chances of winnability on every seat. While being in the opposition and therefore not apprehensive of losing power it has assured the sitting MLAs repetition of tickets and is concentrating much on obliging the Patidars to a greater extent on patidar dominated seats with also taking care of Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Bhiwani by obliging them to a great extent as they were the one who stood with Rahul Gandhi when he needed them the most.

The polling in Gujarat is in two phases, 9th and 14th December. What would be the outcome of this election is definitely, still unknown and completely unpreductable as politics is the game of possibility, but one thing is for sure that whichever party wins, will open doors of future victory in the 2019 general elections. BJP’S stake seems more here as it’s the state from where PM Modi comes and where he ruled as its chief minister for three terms in succession shifting to Delhi as PM while still being the state’s chief minister. What’ s your take friends?

SUNIL NEGI