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Gujarat Elections: Full circle of Modi Factor, Gujarati Asmita, Soft Hindutva, Pakistan conspiracy and cast equation

Tuesday - December 19, 2017 4:34 pm , Category : WTN SPECIAL

The assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh proved that ‘Modi factor” is still the most powerful weapon for BJP. The BJP heavily embarks on the charisma and firepower of Modi. While most political pundits attributed BJP win in Himachal as anti-incumbency but same factor did not work in Gujarat despite BJP being in power for last 22 years.

What happened in Gujarat? Modi played the son of the soil card and Gujarati Asmita (Pride). “Gujarati asmita” won but it did not allow that to be converted into arrogance as BJP wins with the smallest margin in 22 years. Rahul Gandhi played the card of ‘Soft Hindutva’ by visiting Hindu temples . However, Modi played the Congress-Pakistan ‘conspiracy’ against him to consolidate Hindu votes for the BJP. On one hand the electorate of Gujarat cautioned BJP by giving restricting their tally to 99 and on other hand gave Congress a pointer that the people still do not accept the party to rule. The electorate also rejected tall claims of BJP winning 150 seats and gave a categorical message that voters can’t be taken for granted.

Urban- Rural divide of votes- BJP’s victory across 99 assembly seats indicates that the party has won with huge margins in urban areas whereas Congress made significant gains garnering 77 seats mostly from rural areas primarily due to caste combinations, Patel resentment, and farm distress”. The Congress made GST a compelling electoral issue in Gujarat elections, but failed to impress the urban population.

Moral Victory for Congress?  Congress claims of moral victory does not have many takers. The party doesn't have the ability to capitalize on favorable circumstances- 22 years of anti-incumbency; Patidar and Dalit agitations against BJP government of Gujarat ; convincing voters as viable alternative to post-Modi era of Gujarat and its inability to connect itself with urban population despite GST and demonetization distress. Congress has itself to blame as it got engulfed into controversies of Kapil Sibal asking the Supreme Court to adjourn the judgment of the Babri Masjid case and Mani Shankar Aiyar’s comment on Modi’s caste identity.

The results of Gujarat election will have ramifications on national politics. It would provide the BJP a huge confidence for next Lok Sabha elections. But, overconfidence can be detrimental as BJP has to safeguard itself from the Congress, which seems to be in a resurgent mode.

Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan , Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura shall go to assembly elections in 2018, before 2019 General elections. The tone after Gujarat elections is set for these elections to be fiercely fought pitting the indomitable Modi against a spirited Rahul Gandhi. 

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Col Pradeep
#1
December 19th, 2017 5:21 pm
very well summed up .looking fwd to more