Hardik demystified

August 30 2015

The BJP is taking it seriously that 22-year-old Hardik Patel has said the lotus will not bloom in Gujarat in the 2017 elections. Considered to be Ram’s descendants, the Patidar-Patels have a direct impact on 75-80 Assembly seats in Gujarat and play the decisive role in any candidate’s loss or win. In Gujarat, the Patel voters alone make for 20 per cent of the votes. In the 1980s, when then Gujarat Chief Minister Madhav Singh Solanki went to town asking for reservations for KHAM (Khastriya, Harijan, Adivasis and Muslims), these same Patidar-Patels had taken to the streets against the proposal. Then they were led by Keshubhai Patel, who used the Hindutva angle to oppose the reservation, and ensured the Congress was wiped out clean. Since then, the saffron flag is reining in the state. Modi’s “ekla chalo” (walk alone) politics has seized the Patel community’s representative from them. Where Anandiben Patel is concerned, she has never been involved with the grassroots. What the BJP urgently needs in Gujarat is a Patel leader, who will help it swim across the choppy 2017 election waters.

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