2 Dec 2022

Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Phase 2: What Challenges BJP Faces In North Gujarat

Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Phase 2: In north Gujarat, the performance of Congress has been better than the ruling BJP. The region has 32 assembly seats, and the Opposition party will aim to retain its edge here in 2022, too, with some factors going in its favour.

Voting will be held in the region in the second phase on December 5 when the remaining 93 seats in the 182-member assembly will be covered. 

Out of the 32 assembly seats spread across six districts of the region -- Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Aravalli and Gandhinagar -- the Congress bagged 17 seats in both the 2012 and 2017 elections. The BJP, on the other hand, won 15 and 14 assembly seats in 2012 and 2017, respectively. 

OBC community is upset: The BJP faces rebellion in some Assembly seats and the dominant OBC Chaudhary community is peeved following the arrest of dairy cooperative leader and former home minister Vipul Chahduary. Local caste dynamics and selection of candidates are expected to play a major role in the final result.

Vipul Chaudhary’s arrest in a Rs 800-crore corruption case has angered the people from his community which forms a significant chunk of voters on seats in Banaskantha district and some parts of Mehsana, according to political observers.

Chaudhary, a former chairman of Dudhsagar Dairy, is accused of corruption during his tenure at the cooperative body. There were speculations that he could join the AAP ahead of the polls, but that did not happen.

Mogaji Chaudhary, former vice-president of Dudhsagar Dairy who is also associated with the Arbuda Sena, a social organisation of the Chaudhary community, said members of the social group will cast their vote according to their choice and no direction has been issued to them.

BJP facing rebellion in some pockets: The BJP is facing rebellion in some Assembly seats like Deesa in Banaskantha. Voters are also not happy with the way the BJP has handled Congress turncoat Alpesh Thakor. The ruling party has fielded Thakor from the Gandhinagar South seat.

AAP not likely to make much difference: Analysts sayve the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is not likely to make much difference in north Gujarat, which will see a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP. 

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