AAP eyes Patidar votes in maiden Gujarat elections | india-news | Hindustan Times
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AAP eyes Patidar votes in maiden Gujarat elections

The party is contesting elections in 20 seats in the state, of which 12 are in Patidar dominated areas.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2017 22:37 IST
Hiral Dave
Aam Aadmi Party convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal with other party leaders in New Delhi
Aam Aadmi Party convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal with other party leaders in New Delhi(Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

In its maiden assembly elections in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has focussed on Patidar votes — the community which has been up in arms against the BJP government in home state of PM Narendra Modi.

Of the 20 seats shortlisted by AAP for contesting December polls, 12 are in Patidar dominated areas and rest are reserved Dalit and tribal constituencies. Of these 12, Petlad is the only Congress bastion; the rest have been BJP strongholds for many years.

The community of industrialists and farmers has supported BJP for almost three decades. This time the community youth, demanding OBC reservation in government jobs and educational institutions led by Hardik Patel, have given a call to defeat it.

The results in Dalit and tribal seats that the AAP has been focusing have swung in favour of BJP, Congress, NCP or even independents in recent years. As per the history of the state, voters have never accepted a third option other than BJP and Congress. The small alternatives have only benefitted the BJP.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had raised issues of corruption, unemployment and farmers and its pitch is quite similar to that of the Congress. AAP is not the only claimant for anti-BJP and Congress votes. The NCP, which so far has contested as a Congress ally, has announced to contest from 100 of total 182 segments in Gujarat. Besides, former CM Shankersinh Vaghela, who resigned from Congress before August Rajya Sabha elections, declared support to Jan Vikalp, a party that claims to be an alternative to the BJP and the Congress.

“Unlike options available in the past, AAP is not a product of faction that would have come out of BJP or Congress,” said spokesperson Harshil Nayak.