Anti-incumbency, BJP's big worry

Anti-incumbency, BJP's big worry

The BJP's main problem in Gujarat is anti-incumbency issues running against Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, other ministers and a number of MLAs, admit party managers.

BJP national president Amit Shah's close aide Rupani had replaced Anandiben Patel a year ago in a plan that was supposed to shore up the image of the state government. But things do not appear to have gone as the BJP had expected, they say, pointing to internal survey reports. Hence, the party wants Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step up campaign in a massive way to offset the mood against state BJP leaders.

Anandiben Patel was the state's last Patidar chief minister. She had wanted Nitin Patel to replace her as CM. But Shah installed Rupani, a non-Patel leader.

Angry FTVs

Now, about 21% of first-time voters (FTVs) say they are "extremely dissatisfied" with the state government. Over 12 lakh new and first-time voters are eligible to vote in the Gujarat elections next month.

This number of angry FTVs goes up to 25% when asked about the sitting chief minister, and shoots up to about 40% when asked about sitting MLAs in their areas, says a CVoter survey.

Yashwant Deshmukh, who is the founder-director of CVoter International, says, "but the moment you ask about the central leadership, the numbers just change in the opposite direction. On a straightforward question of their preferred leader between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi, it becomes one-way traffic, with almost 60% opting for Modi."

He said in an article on the print.in website that approximately 28% prefer Rahul Gandhi, while the rest remain mum on the issue.

Apart from the generic issue of corruption that about 19% of first-time voters quote as their top-of-the-mind issue, it is actually the issue of "unemployment" that is taking centre stage with 17% of FTVs, according to the CVoter finding.
About 16% said that inadequate family income is bothering them. Nearly 15% were extremely concerned about inflation or the rising cost of living.

"The issue of development bothers only about 5%, followed by terror attacks at about 3%. The much-talked about issue of 'communal tension' actually appears at the rock bottom, along with other less important issues, at just 0.9%," he said.

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