Since Gujarat Assembly Elections have been announced, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is letting no stones unturned to win the forthcoming election in the state but there are three youth leaders — Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mewani — who can play a major role in giving a stop to the fifth consecutive dream win of the saffron party.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had to come down to Gujarat at least three times to the poll-bound state in the last one month sensing the trouble the three leaders can create.
Modi in his last visits announced several schemes and program especially to woo the youth voters.
The three youth leaders who can be a spoilsport for the BJP’s success in the upcoming elections have a large support of the youths.
There have been murmurs and even the opposition had alleged that the Election Commission took its sweet-time to announce the dates to provide the BJP-led central government to announce programs to attract voters.
Hardik,a Patel is leading Patidar agitation, Alpesh a Thakor is face of OBC and Jignesh a Dalit is leading his community in various fronts. Thakors, Dalits and Patels together make up 40% of the state’s population.
Hardik Patel: The 24-year-old in 2012 had joined the Sardar Patel Group (SPG), a Patidar youth body, and rose in ranks in less than a month. He became president of its Viramgam unit.
Patel in 2015 launched Patidar reservation agitation. He formed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) which claimed itself as an apolitical organization that aimed to get Patidars included in the OBC quota.
He successfully used the social media to spread his message and gather supporters. A large number of Patidars from across the state gathered at Ahmedabad for a rally. He declared the day as Patidar Kranti Diwa. That
Recently, BJP had tried to pull in several of his close aide to their flock. The saffron party did manage to pull in a few but the act got fired after Hardik’s close aide accused the party of bribing them to change loyalties.
Patel has yet not announced his alliance with Congress. But, according to reports he has met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi recently and soon will announce Patidar’s vote for Congress.
Alpesh Thakor: Convener of Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena and an face of other backward castes (OBC) leader.
Thakor has emerged as the face of Gujarat’s OBCs population. The state has around 40% OBC population. Thakor community alone represent 22% of the state population.
Thakor has been leading protest against the ruling BJP government over various issues including farm distress and unemployment. Early this year, he along with his supporters had dumped milk on roads to press in their demands for a farm loan waiver.
The BJP may lose a large chunk of OBC votes as Alpesh is supporting Congress.
He earlier this week shared staged with Rahul Gandhi in Gandhinagar. Thousands of people from the OBC community had attended the rally.
Alpesh in his speech during the rally showed confidence that Congress will win more than 125 seats in the Assembly Elections.
Jignesh Mevani: The 35-year-old lawyer and activist had launched Dalit Asmita Yatra from Ahmedabad to Una in 2016 to protest attack on Dalit men by members of self claimed cow protection groups. According to reports more than 20000 people including women had gathered on August 15, 2016 to be part of the protest march. During the rally the Dalits had pledged to give up their traditional job of removing cow carcasses.
Since his first protests he has organised several rallies and protest march in Gujarat.
The Congress is courting that Jignesh may soon join the party but the Dalit leader has made a clear stand of not joining any political party.
He recently told the media that he will not join any party but will definitely work to pull down the BJP. Jignesh also appealed all sections angry with BJP to come togeather.
Conclusion: Political pundits say that the three youth leaders have a hold in their communities and can play a spoilsport in the BJP’s dream win.