Buoyed by a spectacular win in four out of five state assembly elections in March 2017, Bharatiya Janata Party may decide to dissolve Gujarat Assembly and call for an early election.
The rumour, strengthened by PM Narendra Modi’s quick visit to Gujarat a day after his massive campaign in Varanasi for UP Polls, suggests that BJP President Amit Shah is planning to encash on the positive wave in favour of the party.
The likelihood of BJP going for snap elections seems more evident by Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani’s statement of party’s preparedness for the polls.
“The win in UP is not a momentary outburst of people’s sentiments for the BJP, but the wind is blowing in favour of the party as people have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Rupani said as quoted by Hindustan Times, “We are prepared even if elections are held early.”
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According to reports, the question now being asked in political circles in Gujarat is not whether the ruling party would return to power this year but whether the BJP would outperform the Congress Party’s 149 Assembly seats, out of a total of 182, which it won under the leadership of the then Chief Minister Madhav Sinh Solanki in 1985.
PM Modi had visited Gujarat immediately after his three-day long campaign in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi and even had a closed door meeting with Shah. Reportedly, during the meeting with BJP leaders, Modi himself set a target of winning at least 150 seats in next elections.
The elections are due in Gujarat for December, but if reports are to be believed, BJP may try for Gujarat polls to coincide with Delhi MCD polls in April/May 2017.
Despite the ‘Modi wave’ there is no rest for PM and Shah, as the BJP continues to struggle ever since Modi left the post in 2014.
The party had two chief ministers during its 22-year-rule in Gujarat. But it had to try two chief ministers in two years since Modi’s exit after a 13-year stint.
Ever since Narendra Modi left Gandhinagar, the ruling party in his home state has been struggling to contain political unrest and anti-incumbency. The BJP had even to replace Anandiben Patel, a protégé of the PM, with that of Vijay Rupani, whose mentor is Amit Shah. Even Modi has, so far, visited Gujarat as many as 10 times , seven times only since September 2016, just to make the warring leaders fall in line.