Polling in all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the Gujarat will be held on April 23. BJP won all the 26 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
On the 16th edition of ‘RajNiti Elections 2019’, BTVI’s Executive Editor Siddharth Zarabi discusses the state of Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bastion where he was Chief Minister for 13 years.
It was the Gujarat model of development that caught's people's imagination and propelled him onto the national stage. But, the recent Assembly elections in the state show that there are chinks in the Gujarat armour.
The BJP managed to retain power, but the Opposition Congress is once again resurgent in the state.
Polling in all 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state will be held on April 23. BJP won all the 26 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
The Supreme Court refused to accord urgent hearing to Hardik Patel's plea seeking stay on his conviction in the 2015 rioting case. The denial virtually dashed his hopes of contesting the Lok Sabha poll from Jamnagar as the last date for filing nominations for seats in the state is on Thursday.
And, the Big Questions BTVI asks –
1) Can the Congress make its mission 50% successful?
2) Has Hardik Patel’s disqualification from fighting elections made him insignificant for the upcoming polls?
3) Can Alpesh Thakor keep his OBC vote bank intact?
4) Will Amit Shah have the same effect as Narendra Modi in Gujarat?
5) Has the 10% EWS quota pacified the demand for Patidar quota in Gujarat?
6) Will rural Gujarat vote for the BJP?
Party wise seats won and vote share in 2009 LS, 2014 LS & 2017 Assembly elections:
In 2009, it was a tough fight between BJP and Congress whereas it was a clean sweep by BJP in 2014.
Partha Das, Psephologist, points out that betwern 2014 and 2017, the state witnessed several changes. There was agitation for Patidar quota by Hardik Patel, And, Alpesh Thakor joined Congress and consolidated its vote bank. And, Jignesh Mevani emerged as a leader of the dalits.
Partha Das says due to these new factors, BJP faced a tough challenge in 2017 Assembly elections.
Das says the performance of Congress in alliance with BTP in 2017 was much better than 2014 elections, but it was not at that mark of 2009.
Vote swing in 2017 as compared to 2014 and 2009:
On being asked whether Congress and BTP will fare better and achieve ‘Mission 50%’ seats in Gujarat Lok Sabha elections, Himanshu Bhayani, Editor & CEO, Dateline Gujarat, says the dynamics changed from 2015 civic body polls.
He says there could be a dent of 6 to 9 seats for BJP in 2019. He cautions that water crisis in Saurashtra-Kutch region has started and by the time people go to vote, they would see that the problem has reached its peak.
He further says there is farm distress and may farmers have not received farm insurance.
What is the caste equation in Gujarat:
Shyam Parekh, Senior Journalist, says the pattern of voting in a general election is completely different from that of in Assembly election, and that in 2017, things turned in BJP’s favour after the last leg of campaigning by PM Modi.
He adds that things have not changed in favour of BJP this time.
Different regions of Gujarat:
K Yatish Rajawat, Political Analyst, says Congress has identified seats where the margin of victory of BJP is less, further says the whole meaning of Mission 50% is improving their vote share though may not be winning seats.
Urban/Rural LS constituencies in Gujarat:
Kingshuk Nag, Author & Journalist, on the Ahmed Patel factor and whether it work in favour of Congress, says Congress’s chances this time are no so high as PM Modi attracts all the crowd due to him being the PM candidate.
On the farmer distress, he says it is no so high as it used to 2 years ago.
LS seats bordering with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh & Maharastra:
Commenting on the 2017 Assembly election results, Bhawesh Jha, Director, CNX, says the support base of both Congress and BJP changed.
How many seats can Hardik Patel influence in 2019 LS elections?
How many seats can Alpesh Thakor influence in 2019 LS elections?
How many seats can Jignesh Mevani influence in 2019 LS elections?
Shyam Parekh on the decision behind Amit Shah contesting from Gandhinagar, says it indicates the BJP president’s role would be bigger than what it was, and it also indicates that the era of Advani and other senior leaders is over.
He says it also indicates that Amit Shah is the PM in the making or very senior in the party.
How much impact Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) will have?
Anuj Gupta, Senior Journalist, says Gujarati pride could play a big role and the BJP could win all the 26 seats again.
Safe seats for BJP:
What could be the final outcome?