As soon as the polls were announced in the state, the BJP leadership got down to selecting the candidates. According to sources, the core committee meeting under Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s leadership started in Ahmedabad the day before yesterday to finalize the initial list. Which will last for three days. The main opposition Congress has announced its candidates for 43 constituencies ahead of the BJP. The Aam Aadmi Party, which wants to emerge as a new force in the state, also held a meeting on the list of candidates.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union Minister Purushottam Rupala, and Mansukh Mandavia are looking into the issue of BJP candidate selection without Amit Shah. After the discussion on 47 seats of 13 districts yesterday, a meeting was held on 58 seats of fifteen districts of the Saurashtra area. 48 percent of Gujarat’s voters belong to the OBC community. So, the party plans to field OBC candidates in more than half of the seats.
Air of opposition
BJP has been in power in Gujarat for the past 27 years. Party in power at the center for eight years. Naturally, there is an air of opposition to the establishment across the state. Understanding this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has tried to win the hearts of the voters by announcing and inaugurating one project after another before the election. The Election Commission has announced the polling day in Gujarat after the inauguration and foundation of all those projects. Although the opposition wants to take advantage of the wind of opposition to the establishment, no party is denying the favorable position of the BJP in the state.
On the same day, the ABP News-C voter’s opinion poll reflected that attitude. According to the survey, the BJP is going to get an absolute majority by winning 131 to 139 seats in the 182-seat Gujarat Assembly. Congress can get 31 to 39 seats. And Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and Independents together could get 12 to 17 seats. The results of these surveys are not always consistent. But it reflects the attitude of the public.
Stance of BJP
Even if the BJP is sure of victory, it is reluctant to take any risks. The state leadership has decided to seat most of the old candidates. Leaders against whom allegations of favoritism have been made will also be installed. According to party sources, the central leadership is thinking of changing candidates in at least thirty percent of seats.
Initially, the list of candidates being prepared by the Gujarat BJP has considered the names of three candidates per assembly. According to sources, around 4,000 names have been submitted to contest 182 seats in the state. Among them, the work of selecting potential candidates is going on based on three conditions. In the words of a BJP leader, “This time the names of those candidates are being considered, against whom there are no allegations of nepotism. Secondly, the social and economic status of the candidates.