The political scenario in the state of Gujarat seems to change by the day if political predictions and the latest survey by Lokniti Research Programme at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) for a news channel is to be believed.
The difference in seats for the major political parties which was 50-60 seats in August-September has now shrunk to about 15 seats with Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) still having an edge over the Congress Party seats.
The overall electoral heat has reached its crescendo with BJP seemingly suffering a few setbacks for its far-reaching economic decisions in the form of demonetization and the implementation of the GST.
The Congress, on the other hand, has been able to improve its predicted numbers mainly due to its associations with the trio of Jignesh Mevani, Alpesh Thakor, and Hardik Patel and also its commitment to the Patidar community of providing reservation over and above the 49 per cent already being provided under the constitution.
The latest survey predicts an equal vote share of 43 per cent to both the BJP and the Congress but with an edge to BJP. However, the survey predicts much-improved numbers for the Congress from the previous prediction and gives between 78 and 86 seats. The BJP is still ahead with being able to retain between 91 and 99 seats.
According to the survey predictions, BJP is ahead of Congress in Saurashtra, which most political pundits would not agree to, as it is largely Patidar dominated region and was expected to vote against the BJP.
Congress, on the other hand, is predicted to do well in South and North Gujarat regions with BJP maintaining its hold over the urban seats.
With both the parties scheduled to conduct elections rallies across the state, the last few days are bound to change the political scenario, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the driver seat and covering a vast number of constituencies for the BJP candidates and for Congress Vice-President and to-be-anointed President Rahul Gandhi increasing his political footprint in the state.
Earlier another survey conducted by a media house had suggested that BJP will be able to secure 110 seats. However, a survey by Times Now-VMR conducted in the month of October had predicted an even higher number for the BJP with 52 per cent vote share and seats between 118 and 134.
The Gujarat Election result, which earlier seemed to be clearly in favor of the BJP, now seems to be anybody’s game as it seems that the young voters from the Patidar, the OBC, and the Dalit communities may turn away from the BJP.
However, the Gujarat elections results still seem to be in BJP’s favor, though the high victory margins may reduce and those that the party won last time with thin margins may go to other parties.