Political strategies

Gujarat polls: As AAP gains ground, BJP and Congress strategize to counterattack

Ahead of Gujarat assembly elections, Aam Aadmi party is becoming the dark horse. In a state where the traditional fight is still between the BJP and Congress, the AAP is making its presence felt and sending the message that it is also in the race.

AAP national leader Arvind Kejriwal’s frequent trips to the poll-linked state and party workers’ sustained contact with the masses and protests against the BJP government indicate that the AAP is synonymous with business .

The Delhi CM will be in Jamnagar and Chhotaudepur for two days, August 6-7, the last of his weekly visits to Gujarat to meet with businessmen, tribesmen and hold public meetings. Notably, Chhotaudepur is a tribal district, and it is no secret that the community wields considerable influence over state politics.

So how do the traditional players in Gujarat politics, the BJP and Congress, plan to deal with the AAP?

READ | Go kill all your ‘Afzals’: Gujarat BJP leader’s attack on AAP


The ruling BJP, which previously ignored the AAP, will now hit back at the party. The BJP government faced backlash after the AAP cornered it on issues of education and medical facilities. The party is also angered by aggressive personal attacks by AAP leaders, and Arvind Kejriwal in particular. This prompted the BJP to change its strategy.

The saffron party is developing a plan to counter the AAP attacks. A senior BJP leader told India Today: “We are strategizing. the PAA.”


Meanwhile, the approach of Congress is to continue to ignore the AAP. Gujarat Congress state official Raghu Sharma claimed, “In Gujarat, the fight is only between the BJP and the Congress.”

Political pundits believe that the growing popularity of the AAP will hurt Congress more than the BJP, as it, along with AIMIM, will eat away at the vote share of the big old party.

Interestingly, about four months before the Gujarat assembly elections, the AAP announced the names of 10 candidates it will field. The candidates were skillfully chosen to chip away at the BJP and Congress vote bank.

Here is the list of candidates presented by the AAP and from which party their opponent is:

1) Bhemabhai Chaudhary for Deodar constituency in Banaskantha, currently seat in Congress

2) Jagmal Vala for Somnath seat in Gir Somnath, currently Congress seat

3) Arjun Rathva for Chhota Udepur constituency, currently sitting in Congress

4) Sagar Rabari for Bechraji in Mehsana, currently sits in Congress

5) Vashram Sagathiya for Rajkot Rural, currently sits in BJP

6) Ram Dhaduk for Kamrej seat in Surat, currently sits in BJP

7) Shivlal Barasia for Rajkot South, currently sits in BJP

8) Sudhir Vaghani for Gariyadhar in Bhavnagar, currently sits in BJP

9) Rajendra Solanki for Bardoli seat in Surat, currently sits in BJP

10) Omprakash Tiwari for Naroda headquarters in Ahmedabad, currently BJP headquarters

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