AAP’s Presence To Fragment Opposition in Polls

| Updated: June 12, 2022 5:18 pm

In a country where the Opposition is refusing to cluster itself under a joint umbrella, regional players while denting BJP’s prospects, inadvertently end up splitting opposition votes. As is being predicted in the case of Gujarat Assembly elections. Elections to the 182-member assembly in Gujarat, which has been ruled by the BJP for over two decades, are due in December this year.
Experts tout the Aam Aadmi Party as the main contender to the ruling BJP in Gujarat. However, they caution that between the Congress and AAP, the vote share might leave each with a dismal tally while only marginally affecting the saffron brigade.

Much like Owaisi’s AIMIM has been tagged as BJP’s “Team B” in Telengana (in this case, hamper a landslide lead for TRS), in Gujarat, the Congress claims the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP is “Team B” of the BJP.

Despite several attempts, not to forget bringing in election strategist Prashant Kishore too, the Congress has failed to emerge an alternative to the BJP. Kejriwal, the AAP’s national convener and Delhi chief minister, visited Gujarat four times in the last three months, since his party won the Punjab Assembly polls, while the Congress leadership is not really visible as Rahul Gandhi visited Gujarat just once in the last two months.

According to the AAP’s state in-charge, Dr Sandeep Pathak: “Wherever we fight elections, we do it scientifically. We have done it in other states and we have carried out a scientific survey in Gujarat too. As per our internal survey, we will win 58 seats as on date.”

However, political observer Hari Desai observes that AAP will “divide the Opposition votes,” and this will ultimately benefit the BJP against the Congress.

“The BJP now knows it cannot win Gujarat as people have come to know its reality. The BJP is promoting AAP in Gujarat so that the Opposition votes can be divided and they (BJP) can win the polls,” claimed Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.

He also said the people of Gujarat have never approved of a “third alternative,” be it the Kisan Mazdoor Lok Paksh (KIMLOP) of Chimanbhai Patel, BJP rebel Shankarsinh Vaghela’s Rashtriya Janta Party (RJP) or Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). The AAP will also be rejected by the people of Gujarat, Doshi claimed.

However, according to political analyst Dilip Gohil, the civic elections in Surat and Gandhinagar prove that AAP notched 18 to 20 per cent votes. “This indicates its support base. Added, the alternate agenda AAP stands for might win them a majority,” he opines.

Discussing the party’s chances in Gujarat, AAP leader Sandeep Pathak, currently the Rajya Sabha member from Punjab states: “Traditional Congress voters of rural Gujarat are supporting us. In the same way, urban lower middle-class and middle-class voters also want a change and are supporting us,” he claimed.

Also Read: Hardik Patel Takes Dig At Punjab AAP Govt

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