Gujarat BJP edgy ahead of civic body polls

Gujarat BJP edgy ahead of civic body polls

Elections to be held on November 22, 29

Gujarat BJP edgy ahead of civic body polls
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has lost Bihar and this is being felt in home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

Gujarat, getting ready for elections to six of the eight municipal corporations and 56 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 230 taluka panchayats, is seeing ruling BJP almost edgy. Elections will be held on November 22 and on November 29 respectively.

Officially it is trying hard to put up a brave front. The state BJP spokesman I K Jadeja claimed that the Bihar results would have little impact in Gujarat. “The Assembly elections and the local body elections are fought on different planks and it has no impact on each other,” he said. Jadeja said that he was sure that the people of Gujarat would give the party a resounding victory in the local elections, hoping that their stand would be vindicated when the votes will be counted on December 2.

Even Anandiben Patel, chief minister, who kicked off the campaign on the same day results to Bihar polls came out, displayed confidence. She tried to enthuse BJP workers by invoking name of Modi. “Though Narendra Modi is in Delhi, Gujarat always remains in his mind. Always remember that we have made a promise to him that Gujarat will never weaken in his absence. And I am confident that BJP will get absolute victory in this local body polls," the chief minister said.

Patel began her campaign first from the Patel-dominated Bapunagar and Ghatolida municipal wards in Ahmedabad. While Bapunagar is a key nerve centre of the Patel agitation in the state, Ghatlodia falls under her own Assembly constituency. Her nervousness was evident when she summoned an urgent meeting of the state leadership on Sunday evening after the party’s debacle in the Bihar to assess the possible fallout on the civic elections.

What has worsened the situation for the BJP is that socially, economically and politically strong Patel community is up in arms against the BJP. Many hoardings have come up across innumerable residential blocks with Patel majority, asking BJP workers not to enter.

“Patels are going to have a huge impact, especially in parts of North and South Gujarat, where they have majority. If they decide to vote en bloc then we would have tough time defending our turf,” a local BJP worker said. “This was evident when Patels, and not Pakistanis, came out in large numbers bursting crackers as we lost the battle of Bihar.”

Presently BJP controls all the six municipal corporations, 48 of the 56 municipalities, 30 of the 31 district panchayats and 193 of the 230 taluka panchayats.
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