Amit Shah sets eyes on next round of elections

Amit Shah sets eyes on next round of elections

Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tripura, MP to go to polls

Amit Shah sets eyes on next round of elections

Fresh with enthusiasm following the huge success in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand, BJP chief Amit Shah is getting back to his drawing board to work out a strategy for the next round of Assembly polls due in five states in 2017-18 and three states in 2018-19.

These polls are crucial for the BJP for its plans for the 2019 parliamentary elections. Among the states going to polls in 2017-18, Gujarat is due in November-December this year. 

Other states include Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland where elections will be held in early 2018.

By the end of 2018, the BJP has to be ready for the polls in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh where it will be completing 15 years in power. In Rajasthan, the BJP is looking for a second term.

There is already a talk in the BJP circles that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah may decide on calling early elections in their home state of Gujarat to keep up the momentum provided by the results in UP and other states.

An early election in Gujarat, feel some BJP leaders, will deny advantage for Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader Hardik Patel, OBC leader Alpesh Thakor and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani who have vowed to knock down the BJP.

Though the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is depressed by the outcome in Punjab and Goa, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is expected to renew his party’s drive in Gujarat later this month.

Shah, however, has dismissed the buzz about his return to Gujarat, saying that his national responsibilities were too big at this stage to contemplate any role in the state.

But some BJP leaders have not ruled out the possibility of Modi and Shah re-examining the question of a change of leadership in the state. After Anandiben Patel was removed as chief minister, non-Patel leader Vijay Rupani was made chief minister and Nitin Patel his deputy.

There are chances that the BJP may again go for a Patel leader to be its face for the next Assembly polls.

Speaking to mediapersons after winning UP and Uttarakhand elections, Shah had said that the people are pitching for “politics of performance”. 

But in states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan where the BJP has been in power for a long time, Shah’s strategy managers are wondering whether strong anti-incumbency factors facing the party governments can be redressed by just an aggressive campaign by Modi.

Confident Raje
Buoyed by her party’s landslide win in UP, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has said the BJP will replicate the performance during the 2018 state Assembly poll.

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