BJP Set To Rule Gujarat : A New History Yet Again Awaits Modi Magic

November 26, 2022

The political stalwarts standing on the threshold of Gujarat under the leadership of PM Modi, now brace for victory even before the polling

In a democratic setup, elections are considered not only as the victory of public voice, but also as a measure of the dominance of political parties. After getting the verdict by the public in the form of poll results, no difference is seen between argument and logic, whoever wins, is the victor.

The way Alexander used to create new history by winning one after the other forts of the battlefield, more or less on the same lines, the BJP is winning its political castles one after the other with the electoral face offs.  The political stalwarts are now standing on the threshold of Gujarat and the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is bracing for victory even before the polling.

If the Modi magic works in the Gujarat assembly elections again, then the BJP will become another party to get the right to rule a state democratically for three decades. Earlier, CPM has done this charisma in West Bengal. Since 1995, the BJP has also been in power in Gujarat for the last 27 consecutive years.

Those who are critical of the BJP, are loudly raising the issue of anti-incumbency in Gujarat. Knowing that historically Gujarat has been a pro-incumbency state. Here after 1962 till 1995, there used to be a single rule of Congress. Pro-incumbency was seen for the Congress in all the elections held during this period. After turning the tide in 1995, the BJP has adopted this tradition. This history is also one of the reasons for the confidence with which the BJP is talking about victory in this election again.

The vote percentage BJP has been getting in the last several elections has been scaring its opponents. Even in the very close contest of the last assembly elections, the saffron party got 49 percent votes. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, this figure was 62 percent. Just last year, the BJP got 74 percent votes in the urban body elections here and 84 percent votes in the municipal elections. The BJP is calling it pro-incumbency only on the basis of this enormous public support for the triple engine government.

Such a situation seems to be having a question: Is the contest in Gujarat going to be one-sided? Is there no hope for Congress party in Gujarat? Absolutely Yes and No are the answers. Reason being, if there was no hope then why would the BJP need to change the entire cabinet in Gujarat, including Chief Minister Vijay Rupani? Even before this, Anandi Ben Patel, who was considered as the successor of Narendra Modi in the state, was ousted from the post of Chief Minister and now she has gone away from active politics by becoming a governor. This time the BJP has bet on Bhupendra Patel, a completely new face in electoral politics. The reason for this is also to eliminate the possibilities through which the Congress can emerge again and come to the center of power.

In the 2017 assembly elections in Gujarat, there were 57 seats where the margin of victory and defeat was less than 5,000. The Congress did well in the rural areas. However, it is also true that in terms of votes, the votes polled by the BJP and the Congress in rural areas, were nearly equal at the level of 44 percent. While the Congress got 32.8 percent votes in 1995, its vote share increased to 41.44 per cent in 2017. The performance of the five-year-old Congress party may be unsettling the BJP in this election. This is the reason why, despite repeated attempts to reject the Congress existence politically, the BJP is not able to remove it from the center of Gujarat’s election strategy.

The BJP’s election strategy has been to create frustration among the voters for the growing Congress in Gujarat. Breaking the triumvirate of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani, who used to be called the Young Turks of the Congress during the 2017 assembly elections, is a part of the BJP strategy. The Patel community had distanced itself from the BJP after the Patidar agitation, and declaring Bhupendra Patel as the next chief minister also appears to be part of a strategy to make up for that loss.

One more thing. The voters of Gujarat give a chance to new faces. Realizing this, the BJP has not only changed the face of its government, but has also fielded a large number of new candidates. However, due to choosing new candidates, a large number of rebel candidates have emerged. But the electoral history of Gujarat does not give any hope to the rebels. Here, as seen, only one rebel candidate out of 7, gets success.

Amidst all this, the BJP still seems to be relying on the Gujarat model of development. But, this time the Congress is the aggressor with the slogan ‘Morbi Model’ and it is also becoming a challenge for the BJP to deal with it. In such a situation, instead of local issues, BJP is contesting elections on the basis of its biggest strength, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s personality. Strengthening it once again, ‘BJP’s Chanakya’ Amit Shah, has given a new direction to the BJP campaign with his sharp political acumen and well-thought-out statements like ‘not just winning, believing in breaking records’.

By the way, the new factor in this election is also the presence of Aam Aadmi Party, which will probably work to strengthen the BJP by harming Congress more than benefiting itself. Anyway, wherever the Aam Aadmi Party has progressed, it has done so at the expense of the Congress. Arvind Kejriwal himself has also tried to convey the message that voting for Congress means wasting votes as they end up joining the BJP even after winning. The Aam Aadmi Party actually wants to gain the position of the Congress as the number two in Gujarat. Thus, the AAP believes thus, its dream of making the Lok Sabha elections as Modi vs Kejriwal, can come true.