Gujarat Elections 2017 cannot be a cakewalk for BJP, unlike the previous elections. From public sentiments, electorates perception and political observers’ note, right now BJP is at a huge disadvantage and this disadvantage will not only be seen in the percentage of votes secured by the party in the upcoming elections but also in the number of total seats acquired.
In simple words or should I say in the language of the saffron brigade, the wave this time is against the party. Let’s see some of the reasons why BJP this time can lose Gujarat assembly elections despite Amit Shah and PM Narendra Modi working hard for it:
1.There Has Been a Steady Decline in the Number of Seats Won by BJP
Over the years, there has been a steady decline in the number of seats acquired by the party (even if the number has been small, it does indicate something). Also, in the last election, there were over 20 seats where BJP had won with a margin of 6,000 or fewer votes, here, even a small shift of votes can easily result in the party’s loss.
Now if the odds would have been in BJP’s favor these statistics wouldn’t have bothered much but things are different today. Besides, now that Narendra Modi seems to be missing from the state politics this winning gap is most likely to turn into defeat as observed during the 2015 local body elections.
2. Over 15 Years of Anti-Incumbency
The people who voted for BJP are slowly coming out in open and expressing their displeasure about the party and its leaders. The agitation of the Patidar community is quite evident. Now that they form 12% of total population and until now 90% of Patel have been voting for BJP, it is more likely that their vote is going to shift that will obviously hurt BJP badly. Their leader Hardik Patel has openly talked about supporting the Congress party.
3. The Displeasure of OBC, SC, and ST Ahead of Gujarat Elections 2017
Under the leadership of Alpesh Thakor, the OSS (OBC, SC, and ST) and Ekta Manch have regularly expressed their displeasure with the functioning of the BJP Government. Interestingly, Alpesh Thakor who has positioned himself as the voice of all the downtrodden communities have joined Congress ahead of the Gujarat elections 2017. Now that he represents OBC vote bank that influences results around a 100 in the 182 seats, there are enough chances that the community will vote en masse against Bharatiya Janta Party.
4. The Anger and Annoyance of 15 Lakh Employees Against the Gujarat Government
Ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat summit, there were huge protests both by fixed pay workers and contractual workers against the government demanding the abolition of fixed-pay regime and uniformity in salary. The rally, a huge success conducted by Jan Adhikar Manch under the leadership of Pravin Ram also got support from a various section and people currently against the government such as Patidar leader Hardik Patel, Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani and OBC face Alpesh Thakor. This anger and annoyance of 10 lakh contractual employee and 4.5 fixed-wage employees are likely to be seen in votes too.
5. The Naliya Sex Racket
4 of the 9 accused in the Naliya gang rape and sex racket were BJP leaders. Although BJP immediately sacked them out of the party, this incident ahead of the state assembly elections further creates more problem for the party who although ruling for 22 years now have been surrounded by anti-party slogans from all corners and by various sections of the society.
6. The Gujarat Dalit Unrest Is More likely to Effect Gujarat Elections 2017
The Una incident has changed the perspective of the Gujarat Dalits forever. Now that there is a considerable amount of fear and the people have been protesting on large scale, we do not think that this 9% of the total voting population will vote for BJP. Why are we so confident? Well, because Jignesh Mewani, the 36-year-old lawyer and social activist who had led the protests against Dalit attacks has already said that Dalits will vote for Congress. Besides, though he affirms that he won’t be joining any political party, he is all set towards his path to bring the BJP down in Gujarat.
7. Unfulfilled Promises
The Gujarat model won BJP the ticket to the center but the truth lies in the fact that many of the propagated promises still remains unfulfilled. The metro train, the Kalpsar project, the promise of providing 50 lakh houses to the people along with the much talked about Dholera SIR, the first smart city in Gujarat that promises to be operational in 2019. Sadly, the waters of Narmada are yet to reach Kutch and Saurashtra even after two decades.
8. Corruption and a List of Scams
Although BJP has always aligned Congress with Corruption, this party isn’t innocent either and the people of Gujarat, both, in the urban as well as rural areas are now aware of all such corruption and scams the hard way.
Gujarat has a list of scams under the BJP tenure which has hit the people of Gujarat badly – GSPC scam, Greenwood land scam, Metro scam, Sujalam Sufalam scam, Talati scam, Cash-for-Marks scams and few others. According to an RTI report, the GIC (Gujarat Information Commission) has revealed that an inquiry into 14 cases of corruption against the Narendra Modi administration is lying with the body.
9. The Farmers are Furious
During demonetization, the Indian farmers were hit the most and the state of Gujarat was no exception. What made the farmers angry was the timing of demonetization – it came when the farmers sell their old crops and get ready to prepare for the Rabi crops which means selling old crops and buying seeds, fertilizers, and other farm related things in cash.
Moreover, the BJP Government’s mismanagement in providing compensation to farmers affected by flood in Banaskantha and Amreli districts, announcing MSP (minimum support price) for cotton lower than the MP (market price) has further angered the entire farmer community in Gujarat.
10. The Small Businessmen and Traders Are Fully Agitated
Recently, the textile traders protested against the BJP government for imposing GST on something that was fully tax-free earlier. There are questions on the government that why only a 3% GST is implied on a gold biscuit when an edible biscuit attracts 18% GST on it. Now that Congress party and other national, as well as regional parties, have already expressed their displeasure on the planning of GST, there is no one but only BJP to be blamed, we doubt whether traders and small businessmen would this time go with the same party that they willingly voted earlier.
Besides, there was a recent survey conducted by RSS which stated that if Gujarat elections were held today, the saffron party BJP would bag only 60 to 65 seats out of the total 182 seats. However, with more and more anti-BJP wave ahead of the Gujarat elections 2017, it is more likely that this survey can become a reality.
What do you think – Will BJP Lose Gujarat Elections 2017?