Vijay Rupani was also made the Chief Minister in 2016 in place of Anandiben Patel before the assembly elections. In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress gave a tough fight to the BJP. The party got 99 seats out of the total 182 seats in the assembly. The Gujarat election results had also strengthened the Congress psychologically.
Last updated on: September 11, 2021, 11:02 PM IST
In Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party got strength from the face of Narendra Modi. Anandiben Patel became the Chief Minister after Shri Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. But, the last assembly election was fought under the leadership of Vijay Rupani. Even after becoming the Chief Minister, Rupani’s face was not a profitable deal for the party even for a decade. This is the reason why the party wants to go with a new face in the assembly elections to be held next year. Such a face which is also acceptable, and is also adept in the ability to balance. Gujarat is politically very sensitive and important.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah do not want to give the Congress a chance to emerge in the assembly elections to be held here next year. Anyway, the party is working on a strategy to establish such faces in the states, who can remain relevant for the next decade.
Rupani was the face in the last election
Vijay Rupani was also made the Chief Minister in 2016 in place of Anandiben Patel before the assembly elections. In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress gave a tough fight to the BJP. The party got 99 seats out of the total 182 seats in the assembly. The Gujarat election results had also strengthened the Congress psychologically. Its effect was seen in the election results of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the year 2018. The fifteen-year-old government of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh had gone out of the hands of the party. The party took these election results as a lesson. The change of leadership in Uttarakhand was a clear indication that the party was putting the popularity of the face at the top. She does not want to let the benefit of anti-incumbency go to the account of Congress in the elections. The change of leadership in Karnataka was probably the result of this strategy. After resigning from the post of Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani said that changing the leadership in the party is a natural process. He said that now Gujarat should develop under the new leadership.
Leadership is a strong reason for change
If the Chief Minister is changed in the home state of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, then naturally there is a big reason in front. There is no other face popular in Gujarat than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The trust of the people of Gujarat in BJP is also due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. But, the developments within the party were not normal for the last few days. The lack of coordination was being felt between the party’s state unit president CR Patil and Vijay Rupani. Even Rupani did not fit into the caste equation of Gujarat. Patidars have a strong hold in Gujarat. This also came to the fore in the last assembly elections. Before the assembly elections in Gujarat, there are elections in five other states including Uttar Pradesh.
Efforts to establish new leadership in the states
The central leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party was busy with the strategy of these states for the last several months. With the expansion of the Union Cabinet, Gujarat came on priority. In July, Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel was made the Governor of Madhya Pradesh. Rajya Sabha member Mansukh Mandaviya was made a minister at the Centre. The responsibility of important department like health was given. During the second wave of Corona, the Vijay Rupani government was most criticized for its health services. Mansukh Mandaviya’s name is also in the race for the post of Chief Minister after Rupani’s resignation. He is from Patidar community. The caste equations are in his favor. Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel is named as the second strong contender. They are natural contenders because of the post. The third natural contender is the party’s state president CR Patil. Another contender is also Purushottam Rupala. The name of Govardhan Jhafadia is also being taken prominently. Rupala is also a minister at the Centre. All the leaders whose names are in the race for the post of Chief Minister in Gujarat are considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Nitin Patel has been waiting for his turn since the assembly elections.
The way Pushkar Singh Dhami was given opportunity as a youth leadership by the party in Uttarakhand, similarly it can be used in Gujarat. The effort of the party leadership is to put forward such a face who has the skill of coordination and balance. Even if the equation of caste is not in 100% favor then it should not be against it? The party is giving importance to new faces instead of traditional faces in the states.
(Disclaimer: These are the personal views of the author. The author himself is responsible for the correctness / accuracy of any information given in the article. Hindi is not responsible in any way for this)
First published: September 11, 2021, 11:02 PM IST