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Why Gujarat Assembly election 2017 is crucial for Congress?
I have stopped counting how many times Rahul Gandhi has been launched or re-launched as a viable leader plainly because all such efforts always end up in vain. Researchers are still analyzing whether the product is bad or its packaging, as success still eludes the yuvraj of Congress.

Holding a world record of sorts for losing maximum elections, RaGa was crest fallen due to huge defeats in UP and Uttarakhand. The win in Punjab came as a consolation, but then, it was all due to the efforts of Captain Amrinder Singh as RaGa did not campaign in Punjab. Facing extinction, the Congress leadership was duly worried.

The obvious way forward was to re-launch the yuvraj again. Unlike previous occasions, this time RaGa took it seriously. It all started when he visited USA and addressed the audiences at different places. He spoke well without cheat sheets and answered the questions satisfactorily except for some which were, of course, out of syllabus.

News channels, sympathetic to the dynasty, did their part to promote him as much as possible often going overboard. Even Newspapers like The Financial Express and The Economic Times published RaGa news more than usual. Fake followers were created on social media and tweets from the official handle of RaGa were liked, retweeted and replied in large numbers. Suddenly, social media was flooded with pro-Congress posts, anti-Modi articles showing RaGa as Baahubali, the saviour.

This was a top quality launch in a brand new packaging. RaGa was every where and widely talked about although mostly for his funny gaffes and antics. A machine to convert potato into gold is the latest gaffe that has entertained the people of India and is still making rounds on social networking sites.

The target is to win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections simply because another term for Modi would spell doom for the Congress. But how? Well, it has to start from Gujarat, PM's home state. This is the singular reason why the Congress is concentrating all its strength to put up a strong fight against the BJP in Gujarat. The target here is not to win the state, but to improve its seats. A close loss will be as good as victory, denting PM Modi's image which will be instrumental in the upcoming Assembly elections of 2018 in Madhya Pradesh, Chhatishgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. A good show in these elections will be a morale booster for Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Since BJP cannot be defeated by making development an issue, Congress is using its age-old ploy of dividing Hindus on the basis of caste. Taking Muslim votes for granted, Congress is eyeing the votes of Patidaars, OBCs and Dalits and that is why HAJ (Hardik, Alpesh, Jignesh) have come into prominence. History is witness to the fact that Hindus always get divided when caste factor comes into play. Some journalists are coaching HAJ how to divide the society on the basis of caste so that their votes can be obtained by Congress. Interestingly, HAJ fought amongst themselves till they were united by a journalist for the common cause ie to restore Congress. Needless to mention that HAJ saw the opportunity to bolster their political careers and social sta_ tus and accordingly the game was planned.

Acknowledging that Congress is being perceived as an anti-Hindu party, RaGa is visiting temples as if his life depends on it, in order to lure Hindu votes. RaGa is seen feeding to a cow notwithstanding open slaughter of a cow in Kerala by the Congress party; but then, people have poor memory. Unbelievably, the Congress is not at all talking about 2002 Gujarat riots, its pet weapon against Modi. RaGa did not visit a single mosque during his Gujarat campaign. But would it not jeopardize its Muslim vote bank? Congress thinks 'no', as it feels that Muslims will never vote for the BJP, come what may, so a calculated risk can be taken.

Alpesh Thakore has already joined Congress and so OBC votes are gained. Jignesh, the Dalit leader is talking against BJP and has already given indications of joining the Congress party. That means Dalit votes are also in the pocket. Hardik is a classic case. He cannot contest the elections as he is not above 25 years. But he bargained hard for his own people. At the time of writing this article no settlement had been reached between PAAS and Congress leaders about tickets for fighting the elections. But I think eventually Hardik will join hands with the Congress.

Therefore, the formula of the Congress part for winning in Gujarat is:

Traditional Congress votes+ OBC votes + Dalit votes + Patidaar votes + Muslim votes = Majority in Gujarat.

Does that mean that BJP would lose in Gujarat?

Congress will leave no stone unturned to win Gujarat by hook or by crook. The only thing working in BJP's favor is PM Modi and his tremendous popularity plus the amount of development work done during the last 22 years. Generally, the people of a state do not vote against the PM if he belongs to the state as Nitish Kumar, Bihar CM, had rightly said.

I loathe all divisive politics based on caste or religion. The state or country always suffers due to such nonsensical politics of which the Congress is a champion.

Gujarat is the experimental field of Hindutva, Gujarat has always shown light to India. Gujarat has given us Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, LK Advani and Narendra Modi. I don't think the people of Gujarat will fall prey to the trap set by Congress. I am hoping for 150 plus seats out of 182 for the BJP.

Come December 18 and we will know whether RaGa needs another re-launch (may be from planet Mars) or the BJP suffers a setback in Gujarat which would mean revival of Congress having a telling impact on national politics.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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