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Gujarat poll waive: No ripple in 2022, ‘watershed’ moments tracked | Gujarat Election News No ratings yet.

In Gujarat this time, there is no discernible swell of voter sentiment around a particular issue. In the past, specific circumstances & political charisma have shaped results.

Sympathy wave
In 1980, the Congress formed a government in Gujarat, winning 141 out of 182 seats. The party did not have much to take credit for during this term which was marred by the 1981 antireservation stir that assumed aggressive proportions by 1984. The assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 30, 1984, changed the discourse of national politics. A massive sympathy wave swept through the country. The KHAM formula created by Madhavsinh Solanki to rally Kshatriyas, Harijans, Adivasi and Muslims helped the Congress sweep polls with its best-ever tally of 149 seats.

Ram Janmabhoomi wave
The Congress suffered a major rout in the election for the first time since the formation of the state in 1960. The rath yatra by L K Advani kicked off from Somnath, giving massive momentum to the Ayodhya movement that triggered a tidal Hindutva wave resulting in the formation of the Janata Dal-BJP combine government. A JD-BJP seat-sharing agreement prevented the division of antiCongress votes, helping both parties comfortably form a government helmed by Chimanbhai Patel.

Hindutva wave
This was the first time the BJP independently formed a government in Gujarat. Keshubhai Patel was appointed the CM. As BJP’s alliance with JD ended midway, the saffron party decided to go solo. The Ram Janmabhoomi wave had paved the way for a stronger Hindutva wave in the aftermath of the Babri demolition, which the BJP rode to office with panache. The BJP also canvassed aggressively, promising to free Gujarat from fear, hunger, and corruption. These points clicked with the people of Gujarat, who were reeling under frequent communal riots and curfews.

Khajuria-Hajuria wave
Merely seven months after BJP’s 1995 win, leader Shankersinh Vaghela, upset by Keshubhai’s appointment as CM, plunged the government into a crisis when he quit with 105 of the 121 elected MLAs. Rebel MLAs were flown to Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, earning them the sobriquet of ‘Khajurias’. Vaghela formed a government with support from the Congress, but Vaghela’s soured relationship with the Congress high command paved the way for early elections in 1998. The BJP rode the ‘Khajuria-Hajuria’ wave and emerged victorious with a majority. Keshubhai was again sworn in as CM.

Godhra wave
BJP leader, Keshubhai Patel, became the CM, but disasters marred his tenure. Bapa, as he was known, survived a drought and the Kandla cyclone but was replaced after the 2001 quake triggered temblors within the party against him. He was replaced by Narendra Modi in 2001. The Sabarmati Express carnage and the communal rioting in its aftermath consolidated Hindu votes, resulting in enormous gains for the BJP, which won 127 seats.

Maut ka saudagar wave
Maut ka saudagar wave Having been elected with a decisive majority in the 2002 poll, CM Narendra Modi shifted his focus to development as the embers of the communal tension slowly died, and the leadership made a studied effort to relegate post-Godhra communal riots to the past. The Congress was a strong opposition, and there were no apparent issues which could swing the election in the BJP’s favour. In the last leg of canvassing, Sonia Gandhi called Modi ‘Maut ka saudagar,’ which gave Modi much-needed ammunition. The CM harped on this comment as an attack by the Congress on him for fighting terror and won with a landslide.

Modi wave
By December 2012, it was clear that Modi was likely to be BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for 2014. Gujaratis knew they were not electing a CM but a future PM. By now, the Modi mask was a household prop. Modi revolutionized campaigning with innovative, technology-driven tools like 3D hologram projections. The BJP stormed back into office in style, paving the way for Modi’s full-throttle push for the PMO.

Agitation wave
Led by Hardik Patel, Patidars demanded OBC quota. But Alpesh Thakor insisted that the quota should not eat into their share of reservation. Jignesh Mevani mounted pressure on the government for Dalit rights in the aftermath of the Una flogging. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi smelt success, and campaigned aggressively over the 2016 demonetization and GST rollout issues. BJP overcame one of its toughest challenges with the least number of seats in its winning streak

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