After ruling Gujarat for over 18 years, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which considers the state as its “motherland”, thanks to the rise of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in Indian Politics, finds itself on a shaky wicket. Although the party had to drop Anandiben Patel as the Chief Minister and replaced her with a seasoned politician like Vijay Rupani, it may not be enough to hold the fort.
Be it alienation of Muslims from the BJP aftermath 2002 riots or emergence of Hardik Patel in Gujarat Politics to lead the Patel-Patidar movement, BJP was fighting for its survival. Narendra Modi’s elevation as the PM, created a big vacuum in Gujarat BJP and Anandiben Patel failed to fill it up. The Dalit uprising is probably the last nail in BJP’s coffin in Gujarat although it’s too early to say.
The panchayat poll results in rural areas of Gujarat last year, showed the decline of BJP and rise of Congress, which still looks like a leaderless party. As the Dalits are up in arms against the party now, the results in 2017 may look completely different what we see today. If we believe the reports of RSS’ internal survey, BJP has just lost Gujarat. Now, it’s to be seen whether it can regain the lost ground and retain the state it cannot afford to lose.