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Battle of Gujarat: Make or break for heavyweights

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Mayank Kumar
Independent Columnist and researcher in Delhi University.
 

The elections of Gujarat has seen many big battles not only between rival parties but also within the party be it during 1970s Moraraji Desai vs Indira Gandhi. But this 2017 Gujarat election is different, it’s a battle that will decide in many ways the future politics of two of the most powerful politicians of Indian political spectrum Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.

One is perhaps the strongest Prime Minister the country has seen in a long time and other is the prince of India’s most powerful dynasty which ruled this democracy indirectly or directly for 57 years in last 70 years. Gujarat has given Modi everything, from being an organizational man to the CM’s chair and then winning three consecutive elections paving way for Delhi.

But this election is not for only getting a magic number of 92 in 182 member Assembly for Narendra Modi, this election is for telling the whole world that THE MAN is stronger than everyone in his backyard. Its a known fact that winning an election by defeating rival is easy, rather than winning elections consecutively for 6th time, and Modi knows it better than any one else. If BJP gets 110 plus than the writing on the wall will be clear that Modi showed that why he is Modi and would make ample clear that any movement be it the Patel quote stir of young Hardik Patel or Dalit row led by young Jignesh Mewani is nothing in front of the Modi Juggernaut.

But the stakes are not only high for Mr. Modi it is equally high for Rahul Gandhi, as he is leading an aggressive Congress campaign in Modi’s bastion. Since 2014, Rahul Gandhi is seeing defeat after defeat of Congress wherever he is leading the charge, Punjab was an exception because Amrinder Singh was man in charge on the ground and victory was more due to Anti-incumbency against Akali. So, Gujarat is a make or break for Rahul Gandhi. Whatever upsurge Mr. Gandhi is showing will totally diminish if he looses Gujarat, in short for Rahul Gandhi it’s a victory in need big time as his elevation as President will also be affected by Gujarat results. If Congress gets 75 plus it will be a face saver for him.

In short this battle will be decided in last 20 days, any election is decided in last one month as elections are won by wave or wind in Indian electoral system. If Rahul looses Gujarat the other regional bosses will bargain aggressively with Congress as it will be left with three states only out of 28.

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Mayank Kumar
Independent Columnist and researcher in Delhi University.

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