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Thursday, July 7, 2022

BJP to capitalise on Modi magic to pull off record victory in Gujarat

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It is widely believed that if Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not taken charge of the campaign in the last round in 2017, it would have been very difficult for the BJP to form the government there.

So, the top leadership of the party which does not want the Gujarat story to slip away, is keeping a close watch on the situation there.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have already made several trips to the state, holding rallies, roadshows, and are constantly holding meetings in Delhi and in Gujarat to chalk out election strategy. BJP’s national president J.P. Nadda and general secretary (organisation) B.L. Santhosh are also holding discussions to thrash out the finer points with regard to the strategy for the Gujarat elections.

To fully capitalize on Narendra Modi’s popularity, the BJP has set a target to win 150 out of the total 182 seats in the assembly this time. The party has been winning elections in the state since 1995. So far, the BJP has never won more than 127 seats in the state.

In the five Assembly elections since 1995, the BJP has been forming the government by winning between 115 and 127 seats out of the total 182. But the party could not cross the 100 figure mark in 2017. Therefore, it does not want to take any chances this time.

The BJP, with a goal of winning 150 seats, has chalked out a strategy to woo not only its traditional urban voters, but also the tribals, the OBCs, the Dalits and the Patidars, a traditional votebank of the Congress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Dahod, a tribal dominated area, which has been the bastion of the Congress so far.

Of the total 182 seats in the Gujarat legislative Assembly, 27 are reserved for Scheduled Tribes and tribal voters have a significant say in several districts like Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Mahisagar, Panchamkal Dahod, Chhotaudepur, Narmada, Bharuch, Tapi, Valsad, Navsari, Dang and Surat. Thirteen Assembly seats are reserved for the Scheduled Castes.

With an eye on 12 per cent Patidar votes, Hardik Patel, who recently quit the Congress, was inducted into the party to woo the community, and it is being said that in the coming days more popular faces will join the BJP.

Nadda recently held a series of meetings with different fronts in Delhi to discuss strategy and how to reach out to a particular community, while Modi and Shah are frequenting the state to take stock of the ground situation. As the election approaches, the number of visits will also rise.

In the last assembly elections of 2017, the BJP could win only 99 seats and the Congress 77. The BJP got 49 per cent popular votes, while the Congress garnered 41.5 per cent votes. The BJP also changed its entire cabinet along with the Chief Minister to neutralise any anti-incumbency in the state.

Gujarat is also considered as the BJP’s stronghold as well as its political laboratory. Being the home state of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, the state is crucial for the party for its national appeal. Therefore, the high command has taken upon itself the task to implement the strategy and to enter the elections with full might.

–Ajit Weekly News <br>stp/skp/bg

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