Patidars with whom in Gujarat election? Can directly affect 40 seats
Saurashtra region has significant number of Patidar voters including Morbi, Tankara, Gondal, Dhorji, Amreli, Savarkundla, Jetpur, Rajkot East, Rajkot West and Rajkot South constituencies.
Gujarat Assembly Elections
Once again all eyes are on Gujarat Patidar (Patel) community, which made it difficult for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to win the 2017 assembly elections. The impact of the movement led by Hardik Patel demanding Other Backward Classes (OBC) status for the Patidar community was seen in the last assembly elections.
Political analysts believe that majority of voters from the Patidar community will vote for the BJP this time, while former leaders of the reservation movement believe that many young voters from the Patidar community will vote for other options such as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). In the Pala 2017 assembly elections, despite setting an ambitious target of winning 150 out of 182 seats, the BJP managed to retain power in the state with only 99 seats. Hardik Patel’s whirlwind election campaign against the BJP saw the opposition Congress win 77 seats.
There are 40 constituencies where Patidar voters play a decisive role.
According to Patidar community estimates, there are about 40 constituencies in Gujarat where Patidar voters play a decisive role. Some community leaders claim that they have dominance in 50 seats. Although the Patel community constitutes about 18 percent of Gujarat’s population, 44 Patidars were elected MLAs in 2017, indicating their influence in Gujarat politics.
Saurashtra region has a large number of Patidar voters.
Saurashtra region has significant number of Patidar voters including Morbi, Tankara, Gondal, Dhorji, Amreli, Savarkundla, Jetpur, Rajkot East, Rajkot West and Rajkot South constituencies. Vijapur, Bisnagar, Mehsana and Unjha assembly constituencies in North Gujarat have a large number of Patidar voters. At the same time, Ahmedabad city has at least five constituencies namely Ghatlodia, Sabarmati, Maninagar, Nikol and Naroda.
Many constituencies in Surat city are dominated by Patidars.
In South Gujarat, several constituencies in the city of Surat are considered strongholds of the Patidar community, including Varachha, Kamrej and Katargam. Many believe that it was the Patidar reservation movement and the public anger associated with it that led to the BJP’s defeat in several Patidar-dominated constituencies in 2017. These include Unjha in Mehsana district and Morbi and Tankara seats in Saurashtra region. The BJP has given tickets to 41 Patidars for the upcoming assembly elections, one more than the Congress. Aam Aadmi Party has also given tickets to a large number of Patidars.
According to political analyst Ravindra Trivedi, the Patidar community is more likely to forget the past and support the BJP this time. Trivedi said the 2022 election is different from 2017, when the reservation movement was the main issue of the election. The agitation this time has no effect. He said the BJP had tried to rouse the Patidar community by making Bhupendra Patel the chief minister last year and announced that he would remain in office even after the elections. So many Patidars are thinking that if they want to see a leader from their community as the next Chief Minister, they should support the BJP this time.
Patidars account for only 18 percent of Gujarat’s population.
According to Jairam Patel, president of Sidsar Umiadham Trust in Jamnagar, the Patidar community is only 18 percent of Gujarat’s population, but it wields far more influence than numbers. But the Congress is also hopeful of getting the support of the Patels. Congress Gujarat unit spokesperson Manish Doshi said that we expect support not only from the Patidars but from all communities as farmers’ plight, inflation, unemployment, exorbitant school fees, poor health facilities affect everyone.
At the same time, BJP’s Gujarat branch spokesperson Kishore Makwana said that Patidars are always with BJP. With their support, the BJP will break all previous records and form the government after the election. Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti convener Dinesh Bamvania, however, claimed that young Patel voters may find new options this time and support AAP. (including language input)