Gujarat elections 2017: Clear path for the BJP


The survey shows that the BJP has a 30 percentage point lead in terms of vote share over the Congress. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) got 60% of votes and won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat in the 2014 general elections. Things have not been smooth for the party in the post-2014 phase though.

Patidars, an influential social group, started an agitation demanding reservation in government jobs and education in mid-2015. A counter mobilisation by the Kshatriyas against this demand started under the banner of the OSS (Other Backward Classes, Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe) Ekta Manch. Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor have emerged as the leaders of these movements. Both these movements have been critical of the BJP government. In the local body polls held in December 2015, the Congress won 23 out of 31 Zila Panchayats and 113 of 193 Taluka Panchayats. Widespread protests erupted in the state in 2016 after flogging of Dalit youth in Una District. The BJP had to replace Narendra Modi’s successor Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani took over as chief minister in August 2016.

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