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  India   All India  19 Dec 2017  Rainbow coalition dents saffron citadel in Gujarat

Rainbow coalition dents saffron citadel in Gujarat

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 19, 2017, 7:21 am IST
Updated : Dec 19, 2017, 7:21 am IST

The BJP in fact managed concentrated all its energies on containing the Patel leader.

Jignesh Mevani
 Jignesh Mevani

New Delhi: Finally, it was the rainbow coalition engineered by the Congress, which included Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mevani, which dented the saffron citadel. That the Congress could not have managed to increase its tally otherwise was evident by the losses suffered by its local state leadership, which included heavyweights like Arjun Modhwadia, Shaktisingh Gohil and Siddharth Patel.

Another takeaway from this election was the emergence of Hardik Patel as a leader to reckon with.

 

Sources have told this newspaper that the Congress organisation was in shambles when its central leadership landed in Gujarat four months back to begin the campaign. It was the organisational abilities of this trio which helped it fight the polls on an equal platform with the ruling BJP.

While Mr Mevani, who rose as a dalit activist post the flogging of Dalits in Una, mobilised the votes of his community, he also made his foray into the Gujarat Assembly fighting as an independent candidate from Vadgam with Congress support.

Alpesh Thakore, another activist who rose to fame with his campaign against illicit liquor in his Thakore community, joined the Congress days before the polls and Congress sources said that influenced at least 80 seats so much so that the BJPs turned to another OBC community, Kolis, to help them. Mr Thakore contested from Radhanpur constituency and won.

 

However, the big takeaway from the polls was the emergence of Mr Patel as a leader to reckon with. Though his Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) failed to have an electoral impact as evident by the BJP wining Mehsana and Surat, it was his mass mobilisation and impact among the youth which created the so-called wave against the incumbent party.

The BJP in fact managed concentrated all its energies on containing the Patel leader.

Mr Patel on his part could not contest elections, but gave its full support to the Congress. However, there was a division in Patel votes with the BJP managing to wean away a section.

Tags: gujarat election result 2017, narendra modi, hardik patel, alpesh thakore, jignesh mevani
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi