There is good news for Congress in Gujarat. The Patidar leader Naresh Patel, who is believed to be one of the vital connecting links between different Patidars in the State has reportedly decided to throw his weight with the Congress. Helping decode Patidars and the overall elections scene for Gujarat could be Prashant Kishor. Kishor has met AICC Interim President Sonia Gandhi Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi. He has said he is all set now to be the election strategist for Congress in the upcoming 2022 December polls. Before he begins this exercise, all 65 Congress MLAs will be asked to go to Delhi where Rahul Gandhi will patiently listen to them. Notes about the issues they face will be dissected . Rahul Gandhi will then visit Gujarat. Also, there is not going to be any new president in the Congress. Mrs Gandhi will continue till at least August end.
Rahul and Priyanka have both got active and had a series of meetings with Prashant Kishor.
Prashant Kishor may come back to Gujarat after 2014. That time he was the chief election strategist who ensured Chief Minister Modi’s ascent as Prime Minister Modi. It has to be noted that while Prashant Kishor has expressed his willingness, Congress is still meandering about it. Prashant Kishor is waiting for an affirmative answer and Plan of Action that RG and PGV wants for Gujarat.
Later, Kishor was associated with the Congress in UP but without much noise or impact. He was associated with Mamata Banerjee’s AITMC which swept back to power despite a very strong fight by the BJP who was very keen to claim W Bengal.
Most people however in Gujarat know Prashant Kishor as a BJP man in Gujarat. He has influential, rich circle of friends including two builder brothers whose proximity with BJP is an open book. When PM Modi was CM Modi, he had asked this builder to “look after” Prashant Kishor. Interestingly, ex-Congress leader Bharat Solanki is also close to this Patel builder who is believed to completely a BJP man.
With Prashant Kishor coming to Gujarat, a section of Gujarat could be happy but those who arduously worked in 2017 elections could be a tad disappointed. Because in Gujarat, when it comes to Congress it is not just math or chemistry that works. It is pure caste-based and a polarised electorate on community lines. Prashant Kishor has reportedly conveyed it to Rahul Gandhi that he is all set to work full time in Gujarat. At least six prominent mid-level national journalists have left their jobs to joined IPAC and the team is active in Gujarat.
The Gujarat BJP President C R Paatil is a strong, hardworking man who has already begun campaigning for the Party and booth management work, Congress has not even begun this.
Though Jagdish Thakor is a much better choice than all previous Gujarat Congress presidents in the last 20 years, he still lacks a strong team plus anyone to guide him for urban seats.
Urban seats, Adivasis, and tribals are going to be crucial in the coming December 2022 elections in Gujarat. Congress has never been good in urban areas for the last two decades. It has only 2 of the 64 urban seats in Gujarat. AAP has emerged very visibly in urban areas of Gujarat and while AAP and BJP would be dividing votes on urban seats, the Congress, if It works hard can make a concrete difference.
Meanwhile, in other news, senior Congress MLA Ashwin Kotwal seems all ready to join the BJP. He was spotted at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s house with State BJP President C R Paatil.
Sources confirmed to Vibes of India that Ashvin Kotwal has agreed to join BJP unconditionally, with no terms. According to Kotwal who hails from Khedbhrahma, he does not get on well along with Madhusudan Mistry, and if he fears that Mistry will not give him a ticket for the coming polls or use his NGO strength to ensure Kotwal’s defeat. The only person opposing Kotwal’s entry into BJP is the party’s Rajyasabha MP Ramilaben Bara.
A section of Congress feels that Prashant should not be offered Gujarat on the platter because they feel he is not completely trust worthy. At least six Congress leaders claim that the same team which handled 2017 elections in Gujarat, except for a lady from Mumbai and a man from MadhyaPradesh , the entire team should be retained. Gujarat should be divided stratetgically and this team with two replacements should take over and start doing their homework. Prashant Kishor can aid them later.