Modi may repeat 02 tally in north, central Gujarat

Written by Mukesh Ranjan | Sabarkantha, Dec 13 | Updated: Dec 14 2007, 05:33am hrs
Even after losing some ground to the Congress in the exit polls of first phase, chief minister Narendra Modi might romp home again, repeating its 2002 tally in central and northern parts of the state, which will go to polls on December 16. The exit polls have projected 40, 43 and 3 to BJP, Congress and others, respectively in the first phase.

Despite Congress strong attempts to weave its traditional KHAM (Kshtriya, Harijan, Adivasi and Muslim) combination again in its favour, the area still appears to be tilting towards Modi, as in the last decade the social configurations have changed and also the development plank is working well with higher urban concentration, which constitute about 45% of the entire region. The two constituents of KHAMHarijan (9%) and adivasi (22%)of north Gujarat are competing with each other for BPL (below poverty line) status.

In the last five years, the tribals received land patta under various governments schemes without losing BPL status. But many of the Harijans, who migrated to the nearby urban centres for employment, lost their BPL status because of increase in their income, which is why they feel cheated now.

One of the local influential Harijan leader, VT Gadhvi in Panchmalas, said, Dont you find this a gross injustice to my community people, as those who have land are covered under BPL schemes.

Similarly, Kshatriya (12%) and Muslim(15%) combination is also not working as it used to work earlier. Instead of social identity, it seems that economic status is working more in determining their electoral behaviour. However, attempts are being made to bring them together against Modi by invoking sense of Blue Blood.

Only a rani jana(born of a Rajput woman) or a bibi jana (born of a Muslim woman) has the right to rule. We have many other things common between us. We together will vote against a Baniya autocrat Modi, Mahendra Singh Rathore, a Congress sympathiser in Himatnagar, said.