Sunday, Sep 27, 2020 | Last Update : 11:35 PM IST

187th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra130045899280634761 Andhra Pradesh6614585881695606 Tamil Nadu5693705138369148 Karnataka5572124503028417 Uttar Pradesh3785333136865450 Delhi2644502284365147 West Bengal2410592110204665 Odisha201059165432820 Telangana1858331544991100 Bihar175898161510881 Assam167374136712625 Kerala160935111327636 Gujarat1303911105923394 Rajasthan1247301042881412 Haryana1205781012731273 Madhya Pradesh117588932382152 Punjab107096840253134 Chhatisgarh9856566860777 Jharkhand7770964515661 Jammu and Kashmir69832495571105 Uttarakhand4533233642555 Goa3107125071386 Puducherry2548919781494 Tripura2412717464262 Himachal Pradesh136799526152 Chandigarh112128677145 Manipur9791760263 Arunachal Pradesh8649623014 Nagaland5768469311 Meghalaya5158334343 Sikkim2707199431 Mizoram178612880
  India   All India  16 Mar 2019  Gujarat BJP fears loss of Patel votes, may eye OBCs

Gujarat BJP fears loss of Patel votes, may eye OBCs

Published : Mar 16, 2019, 2:24 am IST
Updated : Mar 16, 2019, 2:24 am IST

Now, fearing a further loss of votes, the BJP seems to be focusing on OBCs and other non-Patel voters.

Hardik Patel
 Hardik Patel

Ahmedabad: With Mr Hardik Patel joining the Congress, there is a strong sense in the Gujarat BJP that the party may lose Patel votes in the election.

Patels, both Kadva and Leuva, form the second largest vote bank and they have been with the party since the 1990s. After Mr Hardik Patel’s reservation quota agitation started in July 2015, the party has been struggling to retain Patel voters.


Under chief minister Anandibehn Patel, the BJP lost a majority of district panchayats in 2015. In the 2017 Assembly elections, too, the Hardik Patel factor had badly damaged the party and its tally in the state Assembly had gone down to 99 from 117.  

Now, fearing a further loss of votes, the BJP seems to be focusing on OBCs and other non-Patel voters.

The recent induction of Congress MLAs clearly indicates this. Four of the five MLAs who joined the BJP are non-Patels. All four MLAs are from Saurashtra where the BJP could secure only 19 out of the total 47 seats in the last Assembly election, mostly due to the disappointment of Patel voters. The situation has not improved much for the BJP since then. There is also a buzz that along with Mr Hardik Patel, his former colleague in the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PASS) and Congress MLA Lalit Vasoya will also contest the Lok Sabha election. If this happens, the PASS momentum could re-emerge in the state. This could only add to the BJP’s troubles. Perhaps that’s the reason the BJP was keen to induct Congress MLA and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor.  “We could have balanced the equations if Alpesh had joined us,” said a party leader.


The BJP is trying hard to pull in influential Patel leaders. Former MLA and Congress leader Hanubhai Dhorajia joined the BJP recently. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present at two social-religious events organised by Patel leaders during his last visit to the state. This is not the first time the party is facing such a situation. In the 2012 Assembly elections, former chief minister and party stalwart Keshubhai Patel formed a new party and fought against the BJP.

That time, too, there was a fear the party would lose its strong Patel vote base, but Mr Modi, then the Chief Minister, smartly consolidated non-Patel votes and won the game.


This time, especially when Mr Modi’s fate is at stake, the party can’t afford to lose even a single seat in his home state. Presently, the BJP has all 26 seats in its pocket.  

Tags: hardik patel, anandiben patel
Location: India, Gujarat, Ahmedabad