Gujarat elections: Modi speaks four rallies, while Mann also campaigns.
Modi slammed the Congress once more, claiming that it did not follow Gandhian ideas in developing communities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated at four rallies on Thursday that the Gujarat elections next month will determine the state’s direction for the next 25 years. He emphasised that Gujarat has evolved into a solar and wind energy powerhouse, and that Banaskantha in the state’s north has the potential to become a worldwide green hydrogen hub. Modi slammed the Congress once more, claiming that it did not follow Gandhian ideas in developing communities. In terms of infrastructure and development, he compares Gujarat villages to cities.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwan Mann also campaigned for the Aaam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has emphasised the subject of the Morbi bridge collapse, which killed 135 people on October 31.
Morbi Bridge Tragedy: God’s Wrath or Neglect?
The bridge fell five days after the local council approved its reopening to the public. Some blame it on “God’s vengeance,” while others blame the municipality, even as life in Morbi, India’s ceramic tile capital, has begun to return to normal. The focus has switched to the election campaign.
Former lawmaker Kantilal Amrutiya has been nominated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to replace minister Brijesh Merja. Following the disaster, a video of Amrutiya plunging into the Machhu river to save people went popular on social media. It is currently part of the BJP’s campaign in the district. Merja was elected to the seat as a Congress candidate in 2017. After defecting to the BJP, he retained it in a by-election in 2020.
In the aftermath of the Patidar agitation for reservation in government jobs and education, the Congress gained three seats in the Morbi district in 2017. It also capitalised on public outrage over the 2016 demonetisation and the installation of the Goods and Services Tax. Headwinds for the party appear to be mainly absent in 2022.
A three-way competition?
AAP has raised the incident as it aims to expand into Gujarat following its victory in Punjab elections this year. It has attempted to portray the Gujarat elections as a three-way race. Since 1990, elections in Gujarat have been bipolar, with the BJP leading the way, followed by the Congress.
The AAP’s arrival could reverse this long-term trend in the state, which is also the BJP’s strongesthold. What impact would the AAP have on state politics if it secures a significant vote share and the race becomes triangular? According to the Lokniti Centre for the Study of Developing Societies’ pre-election poll, the AAP is mostly stealing Congress votes.