All hands point towards BJP advancing Gujarat Assembly polls?


Gujarat mapThere are enough pointers to indicate that the BJP may advance Gujarat assembly elections. The polls which are to be held in December 2017, may be held six months before the scheduled date.

Discussions for the same are being held at the highest level. In this regard, a two-day Chintan Shibir of Gujarat BJP began near Bavla in Ahmedabad district on December 16, which was attended by national president Amit Shah. The aim was to think of new strategies and suggest a roadmap for Gujarat assembly polls. Plans have also been chalked out to rejuvenate the party cadre. Shah will stay back for the final day of the meeting.

During the meeting, CM Vijay Rupani presented various government ordinances and it’s focus on digital payments.

A section of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) felt that not only would it be revamped in the state, but also the incumbent CM be changed as he lacks the charisma to lead the party.

The best way, the party feels, to counter AAP and the Congress is by announcing an OBC leader as the CM candidate. Nearly 45 per cent of Gujarat’s population falls under various OBC categories. This would not only upset the apple cart of the AAP and the Congress, but also strengthen the OBCs against Patidars.

BJP has been doing well in Gujarat since 2002; when Narendra Modi was its CM three times in a row til he became the PM in 2014. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is presently camping in Gujarat. Holding a pracharak meeting, he is wooing tribals into the saffron fold.

At present, the general consensus in Gujarat though the BJP government has introduced demonetisation to check black money, its affects would be temporary. As days pass, this pro-BJP sentiment in Gujarat could convert into skepticism, felt the BJP. Hence its plan to advance the polls.

Patidar leader Hardik, who has been banned by the court from entering Gujarat, has teamed up with Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. The Bihar CM is visiting Gujarat in January-end. AAP has already begun an outreach programme. The BJP feels Patel and Kumar shouldn’t be given time enough to chalk out a strategy.

If elections are held as per schedule, both AAP and Kumar could get sufficient time to put their plans into motion. While this was so, Rahul Gandhi too is scheduled to visit Gujarat on December 21.

Meanwhile, the PM is focussing on Gujarat. Out of four visits in two months, important was his last visit to Banaskantha, which indicates that a OBC leader might be the CM candidate.