Gujarat went to the second phase of polls on Thursday morning and by the end of December 18, we’ll know whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is able to hold its ground or is dethroned by Congress. This election was important for both the parties for different reasons. While a win for BJP will send across a message of its domination, Congress’ victory could mark the arrival of Rahul Gandhi – the leader. Understanding, the importance of the election, PM Narendra Modi himself was BJP’s biggest campaigner in the state, reminding people that he is the son of Gujarat and will never sell the country. On the other hand, this election brought the best out of Rahul Gandhi who is now set to take over as the party president, irrespective of the poll result in the state.
Just like any other election in India, Gujarat has been an interesting battle, offering some oops, some wow and some ‘What! ….’ moments! Congress launched an attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party as the hashtag ‘#VikasGandhoThayoChe’ or ‘Vikas Has Gone Crazy’ started trending. This provoked a thunderous response from the Prime Minister, who from Gandhinagar, announced that he is ‘vikas’. “Hun vikas chhoon, hun Gujarat chhoon (I am development, I am Gujarat),” said Modi.
The next move was played by Rahul Gandhi who dubbed GST as Gabbar Singh Tax on October 23. The term has been time and again used by Rahul and other party members to hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Things went dramatic, when senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar (who is known for his chaiwala jibe) called Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘neech aadmi’, allowing BJP to once again put Congress on backfoot. Minutes after the remark, the Prime Minister roared once again, calling it an insult to Gujarat and asked people to give a befitting reply to Congress. This forced Rahul Gandhi to suspend the veteran leader from the party.
The drama, however, didn’t end here as only a couple of days later, PM claimed that many Congress leaders including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held a secret meeting with the Pakistani diplomats. This forced otherwise ‘calm’ Manmohan Singh to dismiss the claims by saying that it only showed PM Modi’s desperation and fear of “defeat in Gujarat”.
Amid this BJP-Congress war, Patidar leader Hardik Patel continued to make his presence felt. But, came under the spotlight when a sex CD, allegedly featuring him went viral, days after Hardik had claimed that BJP might try to defame him using a ‘doctored’ CD.
Election fever wasn’t consistent across all regions of the state. Gajadi village in Morbi district boycotted the first phase of the election while villages in Vadnagar and Madhavnagar in Sanand district decided to not vote in the second phase. These villages said that both Congress and BJP have led them down.
It all came to an end with PM Modi’s seaplane ride from Sabarmati to Dharoi dam which was labelled as a distraction by Rahul Gandhi.
Undoubtedly, this year’s Gujarat elections have been no less than a roller-coaster ride. Irrespective of the result, this election has laid a solid foundation for the general election and one thing is for sure: the 2019 Lok Sabha elections won’t be less than a spectacle.