The Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections will be beneficial for whom or not be beneficial for whom, this will be known in final terms on 20 December, when the results will be declared. But it is an examination for whom — it is important to make an assessment of this. The first examination in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections is that of Sonia Gandhi. There is no other leader in the Congress party apart from Sonia Gandhi on whose going a crowd would gather. So much so that even in the assemblies of Manmohan Singh, in spite of all the expenses and all the efforts, the number of people remain limited to a few thousands. How many votes can Sonia Gandhi get for the Congress party cannot be said, because in the last five years the Congress party has not undertaken any activities at all in Gujarat. The Congress party in Gujarat is resting its hopes on the anti-government votes for Narendra Modi, but they are not able to understand that because of their passivity in the last five years, they have lost the opportunity of making a place in the minds of the people. Narendra Modi got almost two third seats in the last election. Now the Congress party is hopeful that the benefits from the demise of Kashiram Rana and Keshubhai Patel leaving the BJP would accrue to them. Will this thinking of the Congress increase or decrease the credibility of Sonia Gandhi — this cannot be said, but it seems that the Congress party of Sonia Gandhi will get any benefit from this.
The other ‘neta’ (leader) of the Congress party is Rahul Gandhi. What will be the speech that Rahul Gandhi will deliver in Gujarat and what will be the result of his speech, this is circled by doubt because wherever he went in the last two Legislative Assembly elections, of which the first was Bihar and the second was Uttar Pradesh, the seats of the Congress party did not increase in those places. There was a lot of tom-tomming that Rahul Gandhi is the hero of the youth and he will attract the youth, but the youth came out from under his flag and stood under the flag of Anna Hazare. So this time in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections it is an examination of Rahul Gandhi. There is information that Rahul Gandhi himself does not want to do the election campaigning and neither does he want to stay in politics; instead he wants to spend as much time as possible with his mother. He wants his sister Priyanka Gandhi to come into politics and head the Congress party. So after Rahul Gandhi, the third examination is of Priyanka Gandhi. In Gujarat, can the Congress boat, already sunken or which has been tumbling in mid-stream since the last three elections which means the last 15 years — come out from the vortex with the support of Priyanka Gandhi? The fourth leader of the Congress party whose examination will take place is Ahmed Patel. Ahmed Patel is the Political Secretary of the Congress President and it is believed that all the strategies are ultimately decided by Ahmed Patel. In Gujarat, apart from Ahmed Patel, only Shankar Singh Vaghela’s is a name known in all the places of Gujarat and the people of the country also know him, but the Congress is not projecting Shankar Singh Vaghela as a Chief Minister.
The Muslims feel that if they do something against Narendra Modi then awful trouble might again befall them, but in this entire situation a big section of the Muslims has been attracted towards Narendra Modi and they feel that not giving votes to Narendra Modi in the name of communalism is their mistake. They should give their votes to Narendra Modi so that he can make plans for their development.
A doubt is creeping into the minds of the people that the Congress party is not projecting anybody in the form of Chief Minister because it is not convinced that it even has such a leader who can get them across the line in the elections. It is said about Ahmed Patel that in Gujarat he never allowed the Congress party to organise itself properly, instead the people believe that it is the strategy of Ahmed Patel in Gujarat to keep Narendra Modi alive, present his fierce Hindutva stance in a fearsome manner in front of the people, let the Congress lose in Gujarat and by describing the victory of Narendra Modi as a danger to the country, defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) all over the country. If the Congress still follows this strategy then they will play a dangerous game. If Narendra Modi wins again with the same majority in Gujarat by which he had won the last election then nobody can stop him moving towards the throne of Delhi and the strategy of the Congress that they can gather votes in the country by showing the face of Narendra Modi will fail.
In the Bharatiya Janata Party, the first examination is that of Narendra Modi himself. Narendra Modi has annoyed almost all those leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who have a little bit of acceptability in the public. Instead of the working members of the RSS and the conventional Bharatiya Janata Party, he has already prepared his group from his personal faithful leaders. In this election, Narendra Modi will mainly give tickets to those people whose relationship with the BJP and the RSS is less and who have more of a relationship with him. Narendra Modi will ask for votes in the name of development, will raise the question of not giving rise to any riot after the major Godhra riots and will say that Gujarat has remained peaceful because of me, there were no riots. Though the people say that Narendra Modi is the cause behind this, it is not because of democratic reasons, but because of dictatorship. The Muslims feel that if they do something against Narendra Modi then awful trouble might again befall them, but in this entire situation a big section of the Muslims has been attracted towards Narendra Modi and they feel that not giving votes to Narendra Modi in the name of communalism is their mistake. They should give their votes to Narendra Modi so that he can make plans for their development.
The second biggest examination is of Keshubhai Patel. Keshubhai Patel throughout his life was a worker of the Sangh (RSS) and the BJP, was a Chief Minister and now he has left the Bharatiya Janata Party and has made his own party in Gujarat named Gujarat Parivartan Party. He believes that the most powerful community in Gujarat – of Patels — will support him. There are no two opinions on this that the Patel community is a powerful force in Gujarat and if the Patels leave Narendra Modi’s side, then it will cause damage to the BJP. But the other question is whether all the Patels are with Keshubhai? The leadership of Patels is coming up in various places. Keshubhai Patel is raising an emotional question that this is the last election of my life and I need your support in this.
Apart from the Patels there is nobody with Keshubhai Patel, the Patels have the power to decide a win or a defeat in 30 to 35 Legislative Assembly seats, but what will happen beyond 30 to 35 seats, neither do the Patels know nor does Keshubhai. One meaning can be interpreted from this is that if Keshubhai Patel also makes an impact on even 25 seats in Gujarat then also Narendra Modi won’t be out of power. His winning margin will be less, but he will still remain in power.
Unfortunately Kashiram Rana is already dead, if Kashiram Rana would have been alive then it would have made a lot of difference in this situation, this cannot be said. In the Bharatiya Janata Party it is also an examination for Lal Krishna Advani. Lal Krishna Advani is a Member of Parliament (MP) from Gandhi Nagar and in Gujarat Narendra Modi has given him the impression that his stature is no longer that big as it was five years ago. Narendra Modi has himself become a contender for the post of the Prime Minister. The thing to relish is that Mohan Bhagwat has also said this time who will be candidate from the Bharatiya Janata Party for the post of the Prime Minister, the Sangh has nothing to do with it, but it might also be Narendra Modi and Lal Krishna Advani too. After many days the name of Lal Krishna Advani has come in front from the Chief of the Sangh and the meaning that should be drawn from this is that the Sangh has accepted the importance of Lal Krishna Advani. The places where Lal Krishna Advani would go for campaigning, if the seats from those areas go in favour of the candidates of the Bharatiya Janata Party then the stature of Lal Krishna Advani would become very tall.
In Gujarat, the examination is also of Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazare along with Baba Ramdev on whether these three will directly or indirectly put up their candidates or will give support to the candidates in Gujarat. It will be worth watching whether Baba Ramdev will speak on behalf of which type of candidate and Anna Hazare speaks in favour of which type of candidate. Arvind Kejriwal is preparing for elections in Delhi, but what will be his attitude in the Gujarat elections, this will be worth watching, because all these attitudes will tell the people how responsible and honest these three people are towards the country. Therefore, where the Gujarat Legislative Assembly election is important for all these people is also important for the country. Where the Gujarat Legislative Assembly election will give a decision on the question of communalism, there it will also give its decision on development, whether the public feels communalism to be important or development? There has been development in Gujarat, but the people say that development has not taken places in many places also. The correct decision on this will be taken by the people of Gujarat, but the election of Gujarat in the country is not only important from the perspective of the coming Legislative Assembly elections, in fact it will set the standard that the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Sangh will choose to follow which path for the other upcoming Legislative elections and the upcoming Lok Sabha elections to be held in the country. The biggest examination is of the Congress, because they have to decide which type of slogans and which type of strategies they should make in the future. The Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections will become a lesson for this.