Manish Tewari on Gujarat poll, it could be a Congress turnaround this time

The Gujarat equation is simple if you understand it: Manish.

BENGALURU: Predicting a turnaround in Congress fortunes in the coming Assembly polls in Gujarat, former Union minister Manish Tewari said if the huge crowds at party vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s meetings are any indicator, the party was in with a fair chance of winning the polls this time.

Speaking at the release of his book, ‘Tidings of Troubled Times’ at Bangalore International Centre here on Monday evening, Mr Tewari said a significant change in the voting pattern in urban Gujarat could be the harbinger of change. The ruling BJP was rattled and had started playing the communal card by projecting the combine of Rupani (Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani), Amit (Amit Shah) and Modi (PM Narendra Modi) as RAM while the Congress had come up with a similar acronym, HAJ- for Hardik (Hardik Patel), Alpesh (Alpesh Thakor) and Jignesh (Jignesh Mewani), who had teamed up with the Congress to defeat the BJP, he said.

During the discussion on his book, Mr Tewari said, “The Gujarat equation is simple if you understand it. There are 182 seats of which 120 are rural and 60 are urban. From 1995 till 2012, for different reasons the Congress and BJP have been dividing the rural seats. The urban seats were entirely taken by BJP. That gave them 120 and left the Congress with 60. But this time, there could be a change in urban Gujarat.”

Explaining factors which could go against the BJP, he said demonetisation and GAT have really hit small traders hard while the Congress stands a better chance in rural Gujarat too because of the Patidar agitation.

He continued, “The only reason we could err is because of the margin between the BJP and Congress which was huge in the last assembly polls- 30,000 to 40,000 votes. Is this movement strong enough to create a churn among people? That’s the million dollar question. If we don’t mess up ticket distribution, I think there is a fair chance.”

“What worked for BJP in 2014 was an economic narrative and that economy has faltered because of the double tap which this government delivered at the heart of the Indian economy with demonetisation and GST. When you don’t have an economic narrative to run, you fall on the basic instinct which is try and communalize,” Mr Tewari reasoned.

Prof. Srikrishna Ayyangar and Mr Askar Patel too participated in the discussion.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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