ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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View from the Ground: Gujarat Elections Defy Easy Predictions

 

The results of the Gujarat assembly elections are definitely not a foregone conclusion, especially for the Bharatiya Janata Party. This article takes a nuanced look at the factors that will affect the final outcome on 18 December even as it carries voices at the ground level in the state in the run-up to the polls on 9 and 14 December.

 

Weeks before Gujarat voted, Kamlesh Patel was weighed down with worries, clueless about seeking a resolution to the problems before him. He was tasked to execute the fiats issued by Gandhinagar and Delhi and not take initiatives. Kamlesh is the former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president of the Lakhtar division in Surendranagar district, the gateway to the Saurashtra region. Lakhtar town is part of the Dasada reserved Scheduled Caste (SC) seat that the BJP has won since 1990. Just once in 2002 the seat had gone to the Congress.

Dasada has 30,000 Patel voters but Kamlesh was directed to keep off his community which, he admitted, had become so hostile to the BJP that he felt unwanted in its company. This was so, he says, even after he visited every Patel home in the neighbourhood following the violent stir for reservation, spearheaded by the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) in August 2015. The community was hurt and angry after 13 persons were killed by the police, homes were searched and PAAS activists were rounded up.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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