While Cong is not playing secular card fearing that it could consolidate Hindus, the BJP too is reluctant to play the Hindu card openly
The campaign theme in Gujarat Assembly polls is changing with the main political players focusing more on local issues and development than secularism and Hindutva to polarise voters in the poll battle next month.
Gujarat has been known as a Hindutva laboratory but chief minister Narendra Modi is building up his campaign on inflation and corruption while
the Congress party is focusing on local issues reminding the CM of the promises he made in the last two elections.
While the Congress is not playing the secular card fearing that it could consolidate Hindus, the BJP too is reluctant to play the Hindu card openly as the latter does not want to hurt the minorities.
But dissension against Mr Modi’s style of functioning within the BJP and imposition of candidates by the AICC, could bring surpris
es in the election.
The Gujarat chief minister has not only antago
nised the state BJP leaders but some central leaders as well in the last 10 years. On the other hand, the Congress does not have a charismatic leader to check the BJP. The Congress party, lacking a face (regional satrap) in the state against Mr Modi, is pegging its hopes on the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) led by the former chief minister Keshubhai Patel, to cut into the BJP votes.
“But the Keshubhai factor will not help us. This is because his votes are not
coming to the Congress.
Voting for the GPP and the BJP is going to be the same as the two parties would come together after the polls,” a state Congress leader told this paper on Sunday adding that if Mr Keshubhai Patel is trying to consolidate the all-powerful Patel community, Mr Modi is focusing on the OBCs.
The leader further said Patels (Lewa, Kadwa and even Koli) have been a part of the BJP’s political constituency.