Gujarat Elections 2017: If Patidar Vote Splits, OBCs May Become the Deciding Factor


Rajkot: Since 2015, Gujarat has seen the rise of three “youthful Turks” who are resolved to agitate the BJP apple truck in the state. Hardik Patel, Jignesh Mevani, and Alpesh Thakor have all attempted to rally their separate groups – Patidars, Dalits and Other Backward Castes (OBCs) – against the decision party.
A significant part of the emphasis has been on Hardik and his Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) whose activists have dissented, regularly fiercely, against the BJP. From throwing seats at an Amit Shah occasion to conflicting with BJP laborers in Surat, Patidars have been the concentration of this decision cycle. However, their “solidarity” as a particular voting coalition is in no way, shape or form ensured. On the off chance that the Patidars neglect to vote as one and don’t swing from the BJP to the Congress, the decision may well come down to which way the state’s OBC voters will go.
While it is normal that Hardik’s fomentation will prompt an imprint in the BJP’s conventional help base – the Patidars, it is vague exactly how huge a scratch this will be. A few key individuals from Hardik’s internal circle have split far from the fomentation to join the BJP.
The two principle sub-positions of the Patidars are the Leuvas and the Kadvas. The Leuva Patels, given their more noteworthy number, are more persuasive electorally, especially in the Saurashtra area. Hardik has a place with the Kadva Patel people group, whose impact is constrained to a couple of seats in northern Gujarat.
OBCs make up 51 percent of Gujarat’s populace. Kolis alone make up around 20%, making them the biggest position amass in Gujarat. This Patidars makes up under 15%. In a few of Gujarat’s 182 seats, the split in the Patidar vote would mean OBCs would become the dominant focal point.
Take, for example, the voting public of Dhoraji in Rajkot region. The seat has around 70,000 Patidar voters. While Leuva Patels are available crosswise over Gujarat in bigger numbers than Kadva Patels, in Dhoraji both sub-ranks are available in practically level with numbers. The fight in Dhoraji is turning out to be a Kadva versus Leuva battle.
BJP has handled Haribhai Patel, a Kadva Patel, against Congress applicant Lalit Vasoya, a Leuva Patel. The expectation in the Congress camp is that while Vasoya might have the capacity to pull Leuva Patels towards the Congress, Hardik’s disturbance will make a sufficient gouge in the Kadva Patel people group for their loyalties to move to the Congress.
Be that as it may, the biggest voting alliance in Dhoraji isn’t the Patidars. Contrasted with 70,000 Patidars in the voting demographic, there are more than 82,000 Non-Koli OBCs and 7,000 Kolis.
In different seats, OBCs may not be the biggest coalition, but rather they will wind up being kingmakers in case of a split in the Patidar vote. In the urban seat of Rajkot West, where Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is being tested by Congress pioneer Indranil Rajyaguru, there are 28,000 Leuva Patels, 40,000 Kadva Patels, and 20,000 OBCs.
In Jetpur, BJP is trusting that Jayeshbhai Radadiya, child of veteran Patidar pioneer Vitthalbhai Radadiya, might have the capacity to keep the 1 lakh Patidar voters with the BJP. In any case, if the PAAS disturbance makes an imprint in Radadiya’s construct, the race will pivot with respect to the 20,000 non-Koli OBCs and 18,000 Kolis. The Gondal situate, as well, may see OBC vote may rise as the decider with 85,000 Patidars and 60,000 OBCs.
Past Rajkot locale, be that as it may, OBCs dwarf Patidars in many spots. That is, maybe, why, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi connected with the Koli angling group in Porbandar amid his visit a week ago. In different locale of Saurashtra, as well, Kolis are the choosing voters. In Bhavnagar area, Kolis conform to 32% of the whole electorate.
While the verbal confrontation around OBCs might not have been as polarizing as that around Patidars, their position as “kingmakers” will likewise depend on their capacity to join for one gathering. The OBCs are made of a few divergent standing gatherings, including Kolis and Thakors, spread over the whole state. Alpesh Thakor’s turn to join the Congress may appear, at initial, a triumph for the Grand Old Party however given that the Thakor people group has customarily voted in favor of the Congress implies that the condition may not change much.


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