The run up to polls saw a stiff contest as a resurgent Congress picked holes in the Gujarat model and the BJP, which started on the vikas plank, went back to its Hindu nationalist campaign.
The party feels the first phase of voting did not go well and is looking to its rhetoric on Pakistan for a decisive edge in the second.
“They are so desperate that in the temples where we worship, the religious leader and the priests have been asking us to talk our families and relatives into voting for BJP.”
Gujarat’s ‘frontier’ districts at its remote margins may be the vanguards of change.
The Varachha road constituency which is the centre of Surat’s diamond trade has been slipping out of the BJP’s hands since the area saw massive violence and arson in 2015.
To neutralise hostility against it, the BJP machinery has pushed aside its slogan of vikas and is focussing on polarisation tactics. But will this be enough?
Misogyny is particularly vicious when combined with majoritarian nationalism.
The 24-year-old Patidar quota stir leader asked people in Surat to not vote for the BJP, but for ‘a party that will be in a position to form a government’.
While peasants in the Patidar-dominated districted have sided with Hardik Patel, affluent industrialists still harbour mixed feelings on whether the BJP has addressed their issues.
While BJP leaders are going all out to arrest the erosion of Patidar support in the state, they are unlikely to sway those members of the community who have resolved to desert the saffron party.
Arfa Khanum Sherwani discusses the political landscape in Gujarat, the rise of young leaders and election strategies of various parties with The Hindu’s deputy editor Vikas Pathak and political analyst Abhay Kumar Dubey.
With 50% of the population under the age of 25, it’s time the age limit to contest elections is lowered to 22, if not 20.
In conversation with the newly-inducted Congress leader on what he expects from the upcoming elections, his party’s agenda and more.
While urban voters are leaning towards the BJP, agricultural crisis and growing unemployment have alienated rural Patidars from the party.
With a likely erosion of BJP votes due to anti-incumbency effect and a fraction of Patel vote going to the Congress, both parties appear to be neck and neck at the current stage.
In conversation with political analyst Achyut Yagnik on what to expect from the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, the rise of the BJP and more.
The Patidar leader said the Congress had agreed to include reservations for the community in their manifesto.
In an open letter, Mevani has alleged that the controversy was a conspiracy against Patel, a strong challenger to the BJP government in Gujarat.
The ruling party’s embrace of Vallabhbhai Patel, who openly opposed the RSS’s subversive activities, indicates the lengths to which it will go to win back the support of Gujarat’s Patel community.
The Patels and the saffron party have been inseparable partners since the fall of Madhavsinh Solanki government, but the community now feels sidelined.
In an exclusive interview to The Wire, the Congress leader attacks Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje for trying to shield the corrupt, and insists his party is on course to come to power in the two states under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership.
Gujarat’s minorities may have a common enemy in the ruling party and government for now. However, the state’s recent history provides many instances of clashes between these sections of the population.
Perhaps the BJP national managers know that the Modi spell is over. Shrewd operators that they are, they must be cognisant that shoddy goods have been sold to gullible Gujaratis for nearly two decades.
The BJP camp is nervous and a number of factors seem to be working against it – but will this be enough to tilt the balance?
Hardik Patel and others are accused of ransacking the office of Visnagar MLA Rishikesh Patel during the protest rally of Patidar community in July 2015.
As political tides take a new turn every day, the BJP seems to be in an uncomfortable position in the state it has ruled for two decades.
Authorities at the hotel have confirmed sharing the CCTV footage with the police for security reasons.
Patel said that with the state elections around the corner, the BJP would offer the Patidar community many “lollipops” in their fight for reservation.
The Madhya Pradesh chief minister had earlier sat on an indefinite fast for “restoration of peace” amid a farmers’ agitation in the state.
Patel was on his way to meet the families of the farmers killed in police firing on June 6, as well as other farmer leaders.
Though still important as a vote-bank, the politically fractured Patel-community may no longer be central to deciding who wins Gujarat.
Some of Hardik Patel’s close allies are quitting his organisation, but that is no solace for the BJP
Rural and semi-urban Gujarat remains a site of extensive and elaborate social discrimination. The only thing new about the Una violence is that it became available on social media and provoked a national hue and cry.
In many ways, the situation facing the BJP in Gujarat today mirrors the crisis of 2001-2002. And this time around, there is no Godhra to give the party a boost.
Hardik Patel was charged with sedition for allegedly asking his patidar followers to “kill two-five policemen”.
At one time the BJP’s ideologues called Ambedkar a “false god”, now they are keen to appropriate him
The rows over JNU and Rohith Vemula have been missed opportunities for the Muslims of India to express their solidarity with other marginalised communities.
The reactionary stance of the Jat and Patel agitations sits well with BJP’s ultra-nationalist mobilisation but militates against it too, pointing to a deeper crisis.
Rising demands from community groups and a newly confident Congress have shaken the confidence of the BJP government in Gujarat
Hardik Patel’s failure to disrupt the India-South Africa cricket match in Rajkot was not the first but the last indication of the Patidar agitation fizzling out.