To win more than 150 seats in Gujarat, BJP on a war footing

Ahmedabad, May 8 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s preparations for the December-end Assembly polls in Gujarat are on a war footing with its state unit president C.R. Patil and Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel leading the charge.
For the last six months the party’s seniors at the national level have been paying visits to the state to assess the situation on the ground and taking feedback on the party’s preparedness.
Party General Secretary B.L. Santhosh was on a two-day visit to the state and met RSS pracharaks, Chief Minister and state unit president, other office-bearers and various cells senior leaders. His assessment and analysis will help the party’s national leadership to prepare campaign strategy for the Assembly elections, said party sources.
Before Santhosh, party’s national president J.P. Nadda visited the state for two days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has addressed four public rallies and three government events in a span of 30 days. Uttar Pradesh Governor and former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has addressed gatherings in major functions. Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah’s visits to the state have also increased. Even Gujarat In-charge Bhupendra Yadav took stock of the ground situation on April 21.
In the last six months the party has held many programmes, including ‘Yuva Yatra’ by the Youth Morcha and meetings by the party’s women cells.
The party’s media cell is trying to reach out even to the smallest media houses not only in major cities but also in small towns to increase the party’s reach to every citizen.
The BJP has been in power in the state for the last 27 years. The first time it came to power on its own was in 1995 with a vote share of 42.5 per cent. In 2002 Assembly polls, its vote share reached 49.8 per cent and it won 126 seats. This graph instead of growing is either stagnant or has come down over the years. In 2012 Assembly elections, the BJP’s vote share was 49 per cent by winning 119 seats, which marginally grew to 49.1 per cent in 2017, but suffered loss as its seats went down by 10 seats and it managed to win 99 seats.
On the other hand, the Congress vote share has been constantly increasing. In 2017 Assembly elections the Congress vote share was 41.4 per cent, three per cent higher than 2012 Assembly elections.
The biggest challenge the party faces is rising inflation, unemployment, and anti-incumbency. Realising the hurricane tasks, the party gave the organisational reins to C. R. Patil in July 2020 and changed the entire government in September 2021. Hoping that this will cool the anti-incumbency feelings, the party cadres will be encouraged and boosted, and will work with energy and enthusiasm.
The entire exercise is aimed to ensure that the blunder it faced in 2017 is not repeated in 2022, and it gets more seats. Gujarat not just being the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi but it being close to his heart, he can’t afford to lose the state, is the observation of the political analyst Dilip Patel.
Patel further analyzes that Modi prefers inputs from many sources to analyse and take calls for the party strategy and campaign for the state. So he is deputing different levels of party leaders to get ground reality.

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