Gujarat Elections 2022: Can Modi factor guide BJP to another term in power? | The Financial Express

Gujarat Elections 2022: Can Modi factor guide BJP to another term in power?

Gujarat looks set to witness a triangular fight as the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and the debutante Aam Aadmi Party lock horns in a fight to the finish.

Gujarat Elections 2022: Can Modi factor guide BJP to another term in power?
The Modi factor still seems to be ruling the roost that could yield good political dividend to the saffron party. (Image: PTI)

The Election Commission on Thursday set the ball rolling in Gujarat with the announcement of the poll schedule for the assembly elections in the state, a battle which will be keenly watched for several reasons. The elections in the state will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The state, with a 182-member assembly, looks set to witness a triangular fight as the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and the debutante Aam Aadmi Party lock horns in a fight to the finish.

The biggest question before political pundits is this: Will the BJP retain power or will the AAP manage to work its magic? And with the Congress virtually pulling out all stops to consolidate its impression through its Bharat Jodo Yatra under the stewardship of Rahul Gandhi, it may be too soon to rule out the grand old party from the race yet.

With their massive poll campaigns, political parties have already set a high voltage poll stage for the Gujarat Assembly Elections. A pre-poll survey, conducted by PRACCIS, a Delhi-based independent research institution, cited by Firstpost suggests a clean sweep for the BJP. As per the findings of the survey, the BJP, which is running for its seventh consecutive term, may win over 120 of the 182 seats in the state.

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The Modi factor still seems to be ruling the roost that could yield good political dividend to the saffron party. Also, unlike the previous election, the Patidar consolidation could work in favour of the BJP this time around.

BJP created history in Gujarat in 2017 by winning its sixth consecutive term in power, but saw its tally drop to its lowest since 1995, winning 99 of 182 seats. The Congress got 77 seats. However, the BJP, which has been in power in Gujarat for 27 years, still got nearly 50% of the votes (49.05%), while the Congress ended up with 41.44% of the votes.

One significant change from 2017 is the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party which poses a big challenge to both the BJP and Congress, but is expected to damage the Congress more. AAP is likely to do well as it could eat away at the traditional votebank of the Congress.

Also Read | Gujarat Elections 2022: Isudan Gadhvi is AAP’s pick as CM candidate

Despite back-breaking efforts through Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress this time looks pale in the triangular fight in the Gujarat Assembly Elections. Although Congress hopes to end its 27-year stint in the Opposition, the party top brass leaders have so far been conspicuous by their absence in the three-cornered fray. Even former party president Rahul Gandhi, who is busy with the Bharat Jodo Yatra which began on September 7 will go on for nearly five months, has remained mostly absent.

Congress” poll planks are inflation, unemployment and social harmony. The party has cited the Rajasthan government’s achievements before Gujarat voters to present itself as a viable alternative to the BJP. However, it is not yet clear when, if at all, Rahul will join the opposition party’s campaigning.

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First published on: 04-11-2022 at 15:19 IST