BJP president Amit Shah has indicated Gujarat might not see early elections, saying, “Narendrabhai no vijayrath November ma Gujarat aavse (Narendra Modi’s victory run will reach Gujarat in November).”
Gujarat is due for polls in November-December and talk of early election gained ground after the BJP’s success in the recent assembly polls in four out of the five states, specifically Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Addressing BJP workers at Sabarmati riverfront on Wednesday, Shah said, “After 325 seats in UP, go out with confidence that we will get more than 150 seats in Gujarat.” Gujarat has 182 assembly segments.
Listing several development programmes and development work by Modi as Gujarat chief minister and then the Prime Minister, Shah said, “Before the BJP’s win in 1995 (in Gujarat), there used to be curfew for 200 days in a year, and in Ahmedabad Begum-Baadshah used to rule. But the BJP drove away those who used to stab.”
He added that it was under Congress rule that seeds of communalism, casteism and politics of vote bank were sown.
Shah indicated that the Hindutva plank would take centre stage in Gujarat elections, and this was seconded by chief minister Vijay Rupani. The CM said, “Now people want Ram Rajya in the country, Ram temple at Ayodhya, removal of Article 370 (which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir), and stricter cow protection laws across country.”
In his hour-long speech, Shah’s focused on motivating BJP supporters to work for a huge win in Gujarat. He took a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has announced it will contest all assembly seats in Gujarat. “Do you know AAP? They surface whenever the elections are announced and disappear with results.”
The Gujarat BJP had painted the city in saffron to welcome Shah, who started a two-day visit to his home state for the first time after the party’s spectacular win in UP. After a grand felicitation at the airport, he held a brief meeting with party functionaries.
On Thursday, Shah will mark his presence at the ongoing budget session as Naranpura MLA.