Modiís net practice for 2014, playing now in urban Gujarat
In 2007, the BJP got 117 assembly seats out of the total strength of 182. The Congress had got 59 seats.
The second narrative which has gained some ground, if you go by what the bookies in the betting market have revealed in the last 24 hours, is that the extraordinarily high voting Ė about 71% Ė in the first phase could help the Congress and former BJP leader Keshubhai Patelís newly-formed outfit, Gujarat Parivartan Party. According to this narrative, Modiís development efforts are limited to very urban centres Ė a la Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh Ė and havenít percolated to the rural and tribal areas. Indeed, evidence on the ground does show that there is immense scarcity of water and electricity in rural areas. Keshubhai Patel is exploiting this to the hilt among his Leuva Patel support base in Saurashtra and Kutch. However, the counter-question here is, why couldnít Keshubhai dent Modiís votes in Saurashtra in 2007?
Keshubhai, of course, answers that question saying the opposition to Modi was not so widespread in 2007. He claimed Saurashtra is ready to vote against Modi today. Keshubhai also says this time round, RSS workers are not working at all for Modi in Saurashtra and Kutch, which has the largest chunk of 58 seats in the Gujarat Assembly.
Saurashtra, therefore, holds the key to whether Modi does better than last time or much worse. Saurashtra has been a bit of a puzzle even for psephologists. For instance, well-known psephologist Yogendra Yadav, now
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