The Gujarat Assembly Elections are expected to be held in the month of November 2022.
The BJP was expected to be led by CM Vijay Rupani in the 2022 Gujarat Elections under whose Chief Ministership the BJP had won the 2017 Assembly Elections, before he submitted his shock resignation on 11th September.
Initial reports suggest his handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic which lead to a health cum economic disaster for Gujarat is the reason for this removal. Vijay Rupani was a soft-spoken chief minister, but some political observers feel that it may have also contributed to his image of being a ‘weak’ CM, who allowed bureaucrats to overrule the political leadership in taking key decisions. His poor political leadership is also supposed to be one reason why he fell out of favor with PM Modi
In a surprise move, Bhupendra Patel a relatively unknown face compared to the names of big leaders who were eyeing the CM berth was selected as the next CM of Gujarat.
The BJP will be counting upon Bhupendra Patel to lead them to victory next year and allay any anger/anti-incumbency against the BJP after more than 20 years of running Gujarat
The Saffron party is still the firm favorite to win the state due to the popularity of PM Modi in the state+ the strong organization of the party despite ruling the state for more than 2 decades.
The Congress party is still in a state of chaos and is leaderless in the state. It is unable to even inspire enthusiasm among its own workers and leaders who feel that Delhi has given up on them and thus is unable to take advantage of any anti-incumbency. Its pathetic results in the recent municipal elections showcase the sad state of the party
On one side, the AAP enthused by the fact it came second in the Surat Municipal Corporation Elections on its first try is doing everything it can to portray itself as the future of Gujarat and the only party which can defeat the BJP as the Congress has been in opposition for so long. The MIM too is making inroads among the Muslim community which is losing faith in the ability of Congress to win an election
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Google Trends
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Latest News
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Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Latest Tweets
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Latest Cabinet
As per the latest survey, Patidar voters in Gujarat are not excited by the choice of the CM
Bhupendra Patel is the MLA from Ghatlodia assembly constituency(urban) in Ahmedabad City, once the seat of the previous CM Anandiben Patel. He is considered to be a follower of Anandiben Patel and close to her and not to Amit Shah. He is a Patidar like her but a Kadva Patidar, not a Leuva on.
Including the CM Bhupendra Patel, the Gujarat Cabinet has 25 ministers.
10 are Cabinet Ministers, 5 are Ministers of State holding Independent Charge and 9 are Ministers of State
The entire cabinet of the previous CM Rupani was replaced. Like the CM, half the cabinet are first-time MLAs and most of the ministers(22) have had no prior experience of being a minister before they were sworn in.
As per reports, this was done to reduce the anti-incumbency which had been amassed by the previous administration due to it’s handling of the pandemic and the economy. Vijay Rupani was also seen as one who had lost touch with the cadre and too aloof from the Public.
Bhupendra Patel was elected from Anandiben Patel’s constituency and is seen as her loyalist in the party, Anandiben’s recommendation is one reason he was appointed as CM. Amit Shah’s appointee Rupani got a chance when Anandiben resigned and now Anandiben’s appointee has a chance.
The fact he is a Kadva Patel must have helped as no Kadva Patel has been the CM of Gujarat before and his being from Ahmedabad in Central Gujarat makes sure he won’t anger any castes like appointing a Patel from Northern Gujarat would have angered Thakores and Chaudhary OBCs
In the new cabinet, caste equations have been rejigged to give more prominence to OBC and SC/ST communities. South Gujarat too has received a noticeable increase in its share at the cost of Saurashtra thanks to C.R. Patil the State BJP head
Construction, textile, diamond businessmen among ministers in Bhupendra Patel’s new Cabinet
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Assembly
The Gujarat Assembly has around 182 seats, 13 of which are reserved for SCs and 27 for STs.
The BJP currently holds 112 MLAs in the Assembly and the Congress has around 65.
Other smaller parties like the BTP and NCP have 2 and 1 MLAs respectively
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Religious and Caste Composition
As per the 2011 Census,
Gujarat is 88.57% Hindu, 9.67% Muslim, 1% Jain, and 0.70% Others
Gujarat is the state with the third-largest amount of Jains, after Rajasthan and M.P. in India
Hindu UCs/Savarnas are 10-12 % of the state
They Comprise Brahmins,Banias(2% each),Rajputs(atleast 5%) and Lohanas
Then Patidars/Patels are 13-16%
They are an economically influential and powerful caste through the state.
Patidars are divided into 2 main caste:- Leuvas and Kadvas
OBCs are 40-42%
About 147 castes are on the OBC list.
20-22% of OBCs belong to 2 castes- Kolis/Thakores
STs are 15-16%
About half of all STs are Bhils. The category also includes Gavits, Pargis and Dhodias
SCs are 7-8%
The Congress party came to power in 1980 and 1985 with a resounding 142 and 149 seats under the stewardship of then CM Madhavsinh Solanki under the aegis of the strategy KHAM which was based on consolidating 4 communities- Kshatriyas(UC and OBC), Harijans(SCs), Adivasis(STs) and Muslims.
But for KHAM to work, it also demanded the ignoring of the Hindu UCs and Patidars. This turned most of them away from the Congress and they gradually became the unwavering core of the BJP in the state till the Patidar Agitation for Reservation in 2015
Following communal riots in the state in 1986 due to which MadhavSinh Solanki was forced to step down, the KHAM coalition he had created and presided over began falling apart. And thus the INC lost the election in 1990 following which it could never win an election on its own.
The Ramjanmabhoomi movement strengthened the BJP among Hindu UCs and OBCs in the state.
The INC’s base too has weakened over time as the BJP has strengthened its base among OBC Kshatriyas(Thakores and Kolis) and STs too over 20 years of power in the state.
The INC does have many OBC and Thakore leaders and many Patel leaders too, but in the 2019 LS elections, most people in these communities voted for the BJP.
The lack of united leadership and charismatic leaders to enthuse cadres and convince the people still shackles it.
Its most loyal voters in the state are only Muslims and SCs today.
The AAP did well in Surat thanks to Patidars who were unhappy with the BJP and hadn’t been wooed by Congress. The AAP is still trying to grow in the state and hasn’t found the caste combination to grow. Yet the Gujarat AAP Leader Gopal Italia is a Patidar
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: What Happened in 2019 Lok Sabha Election?
In the 2019 General elections The BJP swept Gujarat winning all the 26 seats out. The Congress got 0. BJP got 62% vote share while Congress got 32% vote share. BJP saw an increase in vote share of about 2.10%.
Converting Lok Sabha seats into assembly segments, BJP led on 112 seats, Congress was leading on 65 seats and others were at 5 seats out of the total 182 assembly seats.
However, since the 2019 Lok Sabha election, BJP has flattered in almost every Assembly election therefore, relying on the Lok Sabha results to conclude the Assembly result would not be appropriate.
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: What Happened in 2017 Assembly election?
The last Assembly election that is the 2017 Gujarat election was the first election in Gujarat after Narendra Modi left Gujarat and took an oath as Prime Minister of India. After he left Gujarat things were never the same for BJP in the state. Anandiben Patel took over the reign of Gujarat from Modi but due to her unpopularity party replaced her and gave Vijay Rupani charge of the state. For Rupani much was at stake in 2017. However, he proved his worth and gave BJP a much-needed win in the state.
The election result was very close as expected. BJP won 99 seats which was 17 seats down from 2012 and Congress won 79 which was 16 seats up from 2012. BJP got 49.05% vote share whereas Congress got 41%vote share.
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: What has changed since the 2017 Gujarat Election?
Since the 2017 Assembly election, state politics has witnessed many changes. The very next election after the Assembly election was Lok Sabha 2019 election, BJP swept the entire state. Indian National Congress got the new working state president in Hardik Patel and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party has started to make its impact in the state.
Recently, in Gujarat elections to 6 municipal corporations were held. BJP swept elections by winning all the six municipal corporations in Gujarat. The party won 483 out of 576 seats. The ruling party retained power in all the six municipal corporations in the state — Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar. BJP won 159 out of 192 seats in Ahmedabad, 68 out of 72 seats in Rajkot, 50 out of 64 seats in Jamnagar, 44 out of 52 seats in Bhavnagar, 69 out of 76 seats in Vadodara and 93 out of 120 seats in Surat.
Indian National Congress was decimated as party could manage to win only 55 seats. The new entrant Aam Aadmi Party was able to win 27 seats while AIMIM won 7 seats.
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: What were the Opinion Poll number for 2017 Gujarat Assembly election?
Most of the Opinion Polls predicted a clean sweep for BJP in state. ABP News (Lokniti CSDS) predicted 1144-152 seats for BJP while 26-32 seats for Congress in its initial polling. However, the last polling number published by ABP News (Lokniti CSDS) on December 6, 2017 gave BJP 91-99 seats while for Congress they predicted 78-86 seats.
India Today-Axis My India gave 120-135 seats for BJP while 55-70 seats for Congress. Times VMR polls gave BJP 106-116 seats and for Congress it predicted 63-73 seats.
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: What were the Exit Poll Numbers for Gujarat 2017 Assembly Election?
None of the agencies giving the Exit Poll numbers for Gujarat 2017 election could gauge the mood of the people. All the polls gave BJP over 100 seats in state. However final result was not as what they had predicted. Here are few Exit Poll numbers from Gujarat 2017 Assembly election:
ABP News (Lokniti CSDS):
BJP: 117 seats with 49% vote share, Congress 64 seats with 41% vote share while others were projected to win 1 seat.
TV9 C Voter:
BJP: 109 with 52% vote share, Congress 74 seats with 39% vote share
BJP: 99-113 with 47% vote share
Congress: 68-82 with 42% vote share
BJP: 108-118 with 48% vote share
Congress: 61-71 with 41% vote share
Gujarat Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls for 2022 Election
The Opinion polls for the 2022 Gujarat Assembly election are yet to be published. Crowdwisdom360 is yet to conduct any poll on Gujarat election