In an exclusive interview to The Wire, the Janata Dal (United) spokesman-turned-dissident takes on the Election Commission, Amit Shah, Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath.
An attempt is being made to change the narrative so that the proposal is seen as something the Election Commission wants rather than an agenda the Modi government is actively pursuing.
Suresh Mehta, who quit the BJP in 2007, argues that successive governments in Gujarat have pushed the state towards becoming permanently trapped in debt.
Vinod Dua talks about the curious announcement of election dates for Himachal Pradesh but not for Gujarat and a decline in shopping levels during Diwali season.
By announcing the dates of the Himachal Pradesh elections but failing to do so for Gujarat, the EC has ensured that the Model Code of Conduct does not kick in yet in Modi’s state.
The activist was one of the leaders of the Dalit Asmita Yatra last year and the co-convenor of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch.
Patel said that with the state elections around the corner, the BJP would offer the Patidar community many “lollipops” in their fight for reservation.
For those who have fought over the years, it is not just about the dam, but about the violence and the injustice, and the development paradigm debate – development for whom and at what cost – that makes the issue valid even today.
Though still important as a vote-bank, the politically fractured Patel-community may no longer be central to deciding who wins Gujarat.