THE OBC GAME : WHAT DO NITISH AND HARDIK HAVE TO OFFER IN GUJRAT POLLS ?

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It wasn’t a long time ago that a 24 year old Hardik Patel was rumbling Gujarat, with his massive rallies. The whole aim of his rallies was to gather the support for the demand of Patidar Community’s reservations in employment and, education. His rallies are always huge, but his demands were proved illegal when they succumbed in a high court judgement. The 54% of Gujarat’s vote bank belonging to the OBC quota, presents an interesting situation to behold. The JDU, with it’s image of OBC centric politics, presents some good figures; but the question is will it be enough to account for a substantial presence in the elections?

The JDU seems adamant on joining hands with BJP in contesting the elections, though they are also a part of the NDA( National Democratic Alliance) . The veteran face of the party, K.C Tyagi remarked that the party would be contesting on maximum five seats, where there is a substantial vote bank for the party. Tyagi further confirmed that the party won’t come together with BJP to contest in the elections. So, with only five seats in their pockets, the OBC beguiler of Bihar has its charm faded in polls( pun intended) of Gujrat.

The all flamboyant and out spoken Hardik Patel seems to be searching for a helping hand, to support his cause. As he is twenty four and can’t contest elections, he is figuring out where to position himself in the current political scenario. With his overt hate and criticism for BJP’s politics, it is highly unlikely that he’ll rely on the saffron arena to get his demands for special status and reservation for Patidars fulfilled. Instead, he is interested to join hands with the congress. But the congress seems to have friendzoned him. Ashok Gehlot–Congress’s face for this Gujrat polls–not feels strongly for Hardik’s cause, as he quite nicely knows about the legal unviability of Patidars demands. Infact, sources tell that during the meeting between Hardik and Rahul Gandhi in Ahmedabad ( which Patel denies), Rahul Gandhi wasn’t too keen to give a heed to Hardik’s demands too. In such a scenario, Hardik tweeted an ultimatum addressed to the congress, to clear it’s take on the stakes of Patidars and OBC’s in Gujrat by November 3rd. It must be interesting to witness, if Hardik is able to come out of his ‘ I like you, but I can’t love you’ scenario.

So, with Hardik’s and Nitish’s unsubstantial presence in Gujrat Assembly elections, it seems an open ground two sided battle between the intimidating Bhartiya Janta Party and the healing Indian National Congress for the 2017 Gujrat Elections.

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