After winning a huge mandate in Uttar Pradesh, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is now getting battle-ready for the upcoming election in Gujarat, due end of this year.
Gujarat holds the pride of place in the BJP–Prime Minister Narendra Modi is still being best associated with the Gujarat model of development.
Keen to make the most of the Modi wave, the ruling BJP in Gujarat may opt for an early Assembly election in the state.
The BJP has also launched a new slogan ahead of the election, “UP mein 325, Gujarat mein 150”, setting itself a target of winning 150 of the 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat.
AHEAD OF 2019, GUJARAT WIN IS CRUCIAL
The BJP, which has been in power in Gujarat for nearly 19 years, is looking to offset the anti-incumbency wave with the Modi wave that lifted the party to an unassailable victory with the BJP forming the government in Uttar Pradesh after 15 years.
“There is a Modi wave across the country, and we are prepared if there is an early election. We will definitely win more than 150 seats,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani was quoted as saying to NDTV.
While there has been no official word on pre-poning the Assembly election in Gujarat, but Rupani’s statement is a clear indication that is a possibility the BJP is not ruling out.
The party cadre is already busy with the election preparation with banners of Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah being put up and pamphlets being distributed across Gujarat.
Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, a win in Gujarat is nothing less than a prestige issue for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who started his political innings from the state.
CHALLENGES FOR THE BJP
The BJP is facing several challenges in its pet state of Gujarat and the election may not be a cakewalk for the party this time around.
A disgruntled Patel community wants OBC quota, there is resentment among Dalits over cow vigilantism incidents, and absence of a strong state-level leader after Narendra Modi left for Delhi are factors that may upset the BJP’s apple cart.
The farmer suicide issue too may dent the BJP’s popularity among the agrarian community.
The BJP besides fighting the Congress will also face challenge from the Aam Aadmi Party which has pitted the Delhi model of development against the Gujarat model of development