With the Gujarat assembly election around the corner, the BJP is banking on a steady show by the Congress, which would cement its chances further of returning to power in the state for the seventh time.
According to sources, if the Congress holds on to its traditional voters, which it has till previous elections, and only marginally loses its vote percentage to the new entrant, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the BJP hopes to better its tally from the last polls in which it won 99 seats out of the 182 assembly seats.
The BJP has done its homework, and the arithmetic seems to favour it whatever the political scene would be, party leaders have said. They believe the development work the party has done in the state for decades will beat any anti-incumbency sentiment.
No Fear of Anti-Incumbency?
“The anti- incumbency votes, if any, are likely to go to the AAP and the fact that we have administered the state well, the anti-incumbency is not high enough for AAP to secure even one seat in the state. Whatever the percent of anti-incumbency votes would be, it is likely to go to AAP and the fact that Congress has traditional votes, it will get the seats it gets — fewer this time,” said a senior party leader.
BJP sources said Congress has retained its vote share and has secured between 30% and 35% in every election. Leaders believe that Gujarat is not Delhi nor Punjab that the voters will vote for AAP.
“It is a state that has seen good governance by the BJP for decades and the development the state has seen gives BJP an edge. Everyone, irrespective of the religion, is in favour of law and order and they do not want chaos. So, those who may be a bit upset with us will not harm us electorally,” the leader explained.
According to the senior party leaders, the choice before AAP and Congress is either they fight each other or reach an understanding where they appoint weak candidates against each other or not campaign at all for them.
“Despite all this, the BJP will not be damaged as it will expose the opposition’s agenda which is only to target it and do nothing for people,” said a senior leader.
Modi will be BJP’s Face
According to the senior leaders, Narendra Modi is the party’s face and leader on whose goodwill the election in Gujarat or any other state will be fought.
“The CM will be there but, in Gujarat, the credibility that Modi ji enjoys is incomparable. The people of the state do not refuse him when he asks them to give BJP one more chance. They take such pride in him being the PM that BJP remains the first choice for the people of the state,” added the senior leader.
Even during the 2017 assembly election in Gujarat, despite the Patidar reservation agitation led by Hardik Patel, the BJP returned to power bagging 99 seats with Modi as the PM.