BJP is targeting 150 out of 182 seats in these assembly elections for which the party president Amit Shah is camping in the state. During his six-day ‘Gujarat Gaurav Maha-Sampark Abhiyan’, Shah, along with his party ‘vistaraks’, has taken part in door-to-door canvassing to highlight the developmental work done by the BJP.
He has been giving election-oriented guidance to the in-charge of each ‘Shakti Kendra’ to spread a positive word among the public. Shah has also instructed his party leaders not to celebrate the victory if the party secures seats below 149. The campaign is getting more and more aggressive with each passing day. The ruling party is yet to declare candidates but plans to reach out to voters coming under 50,000-odd booths in the state during Shah’s campaign. Copies of the letter written by Prime Minister Narendra Modi are being distributed by Shah and party workers to the voters. This drive is supposed to last until November 12.
Currently, BJP is chalking out a plan for the Phase 1 (when 89 constituencies will go to the polls in 19 districts). The BJP is planning to send 30 senior party leaders to cover all 89 constituencies in a day. A similar strategy is being planned for the second phase too, however, the names of these senior leaders have yet not been decided. Speculations are rife that BJP might concentrate on attracting votes from the OBCs. This is being speculated primarily because the Congress party is going strong among the Dalit and the Patidar communities. As per insiders, the BJP plans to give about 40 seats to OBCs to win over the community.
As BJP is not in favour of granting reservation to the Patidar community citing the reason that the OBC community’s share would shrink, they are in a better position to win over the OBC community. Though BJP did offer to provide reservation to the Patidars under economically backward classes, however, it was declined by Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
The OBC community has 27% reservation in Gujarat. They are nearly 35% of the population in the state as compared to 13% of the Patidars.