State has been a Congress bastion till late 1980s enjoying support of upper caste, patidars & baniyas
In early ’80s Congress rooted for reservations to Dalits and OBCs creating the unbeatable KHAM alliance
Patels, a powerful block, disillusioned from Congress, started backing BJP
BJP formed its first govt. in the state in 1995 backed by the Hindu consolidation, created by Ram Mandir and Patidar support
BJP has been ruling Gujarat since then (only for brief period Shankersinh Vaghela, who split from BJP and later joined Congress, was the CM)
In 2001, Modi became the CM and rest is history
He consolidated BJP’s position in the state through his development model despite setbacks like Godhra
His work and organizational skills propelled him to become PM of India
Modi-Shah still hold sway over BJP govt. and control the state through remote control
Contest is fairly bi-polar, both BJP & Congress have increased their vote shares since 1995
BJP has maintained a lead of 10% in vote share over Congress
Solanki stitched the KHAM alliance before the 1980 election that completely shifted the power balance from Patel-Brahmins-Baniyas to OBCs, Dalits and tribals in the caste constellation of Gujarat. To counter Solanki’s OBC and KHAM politics, the upwardly mobile Patel community nurtured the BJP. In 1981 the state saw a bloody anti-reservation stir that left 40 dead and a whole lot of property burnt in the course of its 100 furious days. More than that, it totally devastated the social fabric of the state. In 1985, Solanki returned with a record 149 seats, violence spread again and he had to step down.
|Name Of Party||1962||1967||1972||1975||1980||1985||1990||1995||1998||2002||2007||2012|
|BHARTIYA JANATA PARTY||1||3||18||9||11||67||121||117||127||117||115|
|OTHERS & INDEPENDENTS||15||8||9||33||11||8||12||16||8||4||6||6|
In 1990 in the aftermath of OBC reservations by VP Singh, a hung assembly situation emerged in Gujarat. Janata Dal and BJP formed the government. After BJP withdrew support to National Front govt. in Delhi, Chimanbhai’s govt. survived through Congress support. In 1995, for the 1st time BJP secured an absolute majority on its own bagging 121 seats. Keshubhai, a Patel became the CM. However, Shankersinh Vaghela, split the party and became CM for a brief period of 1 year. In 1998 elections were held before the expiry of term in 2000 and BJP again romped home with Keshubhai in the lead.
In terms of vote share, both blocks BJP and Congress have held onto their support base, in-fact they have witnessed an increase in their vote shares since 1995. This has made the contest increasingly bi-polar. However, BJP have maintained a 10% lead over Congress throughout this period as seen in the graph above. Let’s see if it can maintain this lead, or Congress makes some dent in its anchor vote segments…
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