Politics is an interesting and mysterious game, isn’t it? This will be evident in the Gujarat Assembly elections to be held in December.
The most influential anti-BJP forces are Hardik Patel (who leads the Patidar Andolan Samiti), Jignesh (who led the protest march, Dalit Asmita Yatra), and Alpesh Thakor (who leads the Gujrat Kshatriya Thakor Sena). All three fronts claim to be anti-BJP ,and are supporting Congress in the elections. Yet, none of them had any understanding with the Congress in terms of seat-sharing and post-election fulfillment of demands. This resulted in the potential weakening of anti-BJP forces, as most of the party members from the two parties were furious after the list of candidates was announced.
But, the unanswered question here is whether this is on purpose or just another big foolish mistake. It may even be that the Congress is showing its lack of understanding of politics. For those who didn’t know, Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor have had completely different ideologies and propaganda in the past. Jignesh, in my opinion, seems to have been somewhat sidelined after his decision of not joining Congress.
Previously, Alpesh Thakor had stuck firmly to his agenda of not supporting any political move that promised reservation for the Patidar community under the OBC category. This perhaps explain the turf war and the logjam in seat-sharing in Saurastra and other regions.
So, this chaos and confusion caused a dilemma for the voters, as none of the fronts announced full-fledged support for the Congress till very late. This led to a waste of time and resources in sorting out differences among themselves – as a result of which they couldn’t focus on more substantial agendas like the problems of farmers and traders (due to central government policies).
In my opinion, the Congress could have campaigned better if it did not have to deal with the so-called anti-BJP fronts. Moreover, their attitude was just like the old Hindi saying, ‘Doobte ko tinke kaa sahara’. On the contrary, in my opinion, a state like Gujarat (supposedly a role model for the rest of country) is less likely to give a caste-based mandate. It would rather choose a way so as not to trouble those in power in the central government.
In my opinion, the real agendas and expectations of the masses also seem to be far away from the ones that are talked about in the media. I am not of the opinion that the BJP will fulfill all its promises – but it certainly has a better chance of winning the elections. This is majorly because the Congress is not in power in most of the states. It is also mired in allegations of corruption and dynasty rule.
The BJP has also delivered much to Gujarat in the past years, besides currently being at the helm in most of the states in India – with or without allies. Most importantly, Gujarat is a matter of pride for the BJP and Modi – more than the election, it’s about honour.
So, it might be possible that these so-called allies are just digging the grave for Congress rather than supporting it. We haven’t had any significant developments from the Congress’ side either. Instead, what has emerged is the news of a party member claiming that the Congress is a proprietorship like any other party, and questions being raised about the one-family ticket rule in the Congress.
Anyway, as I mentioned before, politics is a mysterious game – and only time will reveal this fact.