BJP plays down impact of rebels on Guj polls

Written by Mukesh Ranjan | New Delhi, Oct 14 | Updated: Oct 15 2007, 06:15am hrs
Dismissing possibilities of its Gujarat unit rebels affecting partys prospects in the December assembly elections, the BJP on Sunday expressed that the party was confident of regaining power in the state and actions against dissidents were not among the priorities of the party.

The sense of indifference for rebels, which was expressed by BJPs state unit chief Parsottam Rupala, who was here at partys national head quarters in connection with the screening of a 40-minute film on Gujarats development, emanates from the fact that the threat potential of rebels like Govardhar Zadaphiais is limited, as they might not have too many options to turn to.

When pointedly asked to comment on the fact that the rebels are planning to join the Congress, as they have already made announcement to this effect, Rupala said, Shankersinh Vaghela is already in that party, who had gone there from our side. What could he do for the Congress If the present lot is willing to repeat Vaghela act, they are free to do so. Action against them is not among the priorities of the party at the moment, Rupala said.

However, political observers feel that BJPs this sense of indifference over dissidence may cost the party dearly in the polls, as the rebels are resorting to micro-management of votes. Out of total 182 seats, the BJP could win in 126 constituencies during last elections and interestingly, the victory margins in 40 constituencies were of less than 5,000 votes.

These are the constituencies, where the rebels are working at micro level, as they are attempting to shift their caste votes. Even shift of two to three thousand votes a particular caste combination will cost the party the seats, they said.

The success story of the BJP in the state is generally attributed to the support from a combination of formidable Patels, Kolis, Kshatriyas, Harijans and Adivasis. But as the rebellion, mostly coming from the Patel, Kolli and Harijan communalities, which are not only dominant, but also largest in numbers in Swarashtra and Kutch with 58 seats, a slight shift of votes in these areas might prove to be waterloo for the party.