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Gujarat Assembly elections 2022: BJP, AAP and Congress in three-way contest — why is it crucial for them

Gujarat Assembly elections 2022: BJP, AAP and Congress in three-way contest — why is it crucial for them

Gujarat Assembly elections 2022: BJP, AAP and Congress in three-way contest — why is it crucial for them
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By CNBCTV18.com Nov 3, 2022 4:23:42 PM IST (Updated)

Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in a triangular contest with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in Gujarat elections.

In March 2022, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had made history by winning the Punjab Assembly elections. Now, it's on its course to leave a mark in the upcoming Gujarat elections. The Arvind Kejriwal-led party is in a triangular contest with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress in Gujarat elections.

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The Gujarat polls will be held in two phases and the result will be declared on December 8 along with Himachal Pradesh.
Why is Gujarat elections crucial for BJP, Congress and AAP
The BJP has won six successive terms and is currently in power in Gujarat. The Gujarat elections are crucial for the party as it aims at retaining power in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state.
Meanwhile, the AAP hopes that a win in Gujarat will propel it to a pan-India political force. In case the AAP emerges victorious in Gujarat, it will be the third state in its bag after Delhi and a victory in Punjab in March this year.
For Congress, the party hopes to end its 27-year stint in the Opposition in the state but has so far been quiet with its national leaders conspicuous by their absence, news agency PTI reported. In simple words: It has lost ground but still has a significant presence.
The BJP has 111 seats and the Congress 62 in the current assembly. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has one, Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) two, Independent one and five seats are vacant, including three after Congress MLAs resigned.
BJP's star campaigner PM Modi has increased the frequency of his trips to Gujarat. In the last few weeks, he attended and addressed gatherings in different parts of the state. His speeches were marked by announcements of development projects with a promise of more.
During his visit on October 19 and 20 to Gandhinagar, Junagadh, Rajkot, Kevadia and Vyara, PM Modi inaugurated and laid the foundation stones of projects worth Rs 15,670 crore. Apart from state government-sponsored programmes, PM Modi also participated in rallies organised by the BJP.
His speeches dwell on the BJP government's contribution to the development of Gujarat in the last 20 to 25 years. He has also been stressing the "Narendra-Bhupendra" (Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel) “double engine” combo for fast-paced development.
Apart from this, several Union ministers and party leaders fanned out across the state during the nearly 10-day Gujarat Gaurav Yatras launched by BJP president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Six yatras in different parts of the states were launched on October 12 and 13.
Meanwhile, the Kejriwal-led AAP is stirring interest with its aggressive campaigning and long list of attractive pre-poll "guarantees". The party is banking on “welfarism”, the fact that it is a new alternative and its stress on day-to-day people issues to woo voters.
Kejriwal has been leading his party’s campaign with multiple rallies and town hall meetings. He promised 300 units of free electricity per month, free education in government schools, an unemployment dole, Rs 1,000 allowance to women and a monthly stipend to new lawyers.
The party began campaigning much ahead of the BJP and other parties. The 10-year-old outfit has also left other parties far behind as far as the announcement of candidates is concerned. So far, the AAP, which is likely to contest all 182 seats, has announced the names of candidates for 73 Assembly segments.
The Congress is the unusually quiet, almost absent, party in the fray. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is currently busy with his Bharat Jodo Yatra which started on September 7 and will go on for nearly five months.
It is not yet clear whether the Lok Sabha MP from Kerala will join the opposition party's campaigning. He last addressed a rally of party workers in Ahmedabad on September 5.
The party has presented before Gujarat voters achievements made by its government in neighbouring Rajasthan. The main poll planks of the Congress are inflation, unemployment, social harmony and anti-incumbency against the BJP.
In the absence of any national leaders so far, the party’s Gujarat in-charge Raghu Sharma has been frequenting the state and leading its campaign. State Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said the party's poll campaign is going on in full swing and candidates will be declared soon.
Other small parties in the fray
Some smaller parties are also in the fray. Though earlier regional parties formed by prominent leaders such as Chimanbhai Patel, Shankarsinh Vaghela and Keshubhai Patel contested polls, they failed to make a mark with the state's electoral politics centred around the BJP and the Congress.
This time, Lok Sabha MP Asadudin Owaisi's AIMIM (All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen) has announced candidates in some minority-dominated seats and is likely to field more nominees.
Gujarat Assembly elections 2022
Elections to the 182-member state assembly will take place over two phases on December 1 and 5, the Election Commission announced on Thursday in the backdrop of the Morbi bridge collapse four days ago.
The Congress won the first three Assembly elections in 1962, 1967 and 1972 in Gujarat. In the elections fought after imposition of Emergency in 1975, it lost to an alliance of parties led by Morarji Desai, the Jan Sangh and rebel Congress leader Chimanbhai Patel's Kimlop party, PTI reported.
Two subsequent elections in 1980 and 1985 were won by the Congress. In 1990, the Janata Dal and the BJP emerged as dominant forces. The BJP has won every Assembly elections from 1995 onwards. It has been in power since, except for a brief period from 1996 to 1998 when its leader Shankarsinh Vaghela rebelled and formed a government with the Congress support.
(With inputs from PTI)
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