Voice Of The People

Solving the “Patidar Politics Puzzle” in Gujarat with Pradip Bhandari; interview by Akriti Bhatia


Pradip Bhandari, Founder and CEO of Jan Ki Baat went live with Akriti Bhatia, Founding Partner, Jan Ki Baat on people’s demand to address the question of “Patidars” in Gujarat in light of the upcoming Elections in December 2017.

Here are a few excerpts from the live session:

  • If Patidars are clearly BJP supporters, why is the issue getting so much importance?

A recent report said that youth Patidars burned effigies of Hardik Patel who is their leader.

Since 2002, whenever, the Patidar card is used, they have voted for the BJP. It was seen in 2002, 2007 as well as 2012.

In Malinagar constituency, Narendra Modi was the candidate. Dinsha Patel, a senior congress leader was against him. But Narendra Modi won.

  • If Hardik Patel join hands with Rahul Gandhi, will it be a loss or profit situation for him?

“Hardik Patel is no comparison to what status Keshu Bhai Patel held as a leader. However, Rahul Gandhi’s campaign today is more energetic and focused”, stated Bhandari.

In 2012, Gujarat Parivartan Party was formed and they managed to secure just 2 seats. Out of those 2, one was secured by Keshubhai himself.

Even after such efforts, the Patidars supported the BJP.

And once again, in the latest election, Vijay Rupani won by 24,000 votes.

Partidars are used by a party against BJP since 2002 but never have they voted on the basis of caste.

  • BJP men are leaving the party and also there were allegations against them of taking bribe. What can be incurred?

That is under the domain of Election Commission. The major question is not whether BJP is winning, but with how many votes.

  • Importance of Gujarat elections in national politics? 

If BJP wins in Gujarat with a great majority, it is all good situation for Modi ji while distressing for others.

If BJP’s share goes down below 100, it is a worrying sign for them.

Patidars have not been traditionally the castist voters but they have been tried to be modified on the basis of caste. We have wealthy landholders, industrialists and politicians from the Patidar community, making their reservations demand questionable.

So, Patidars are not people who go into sayings. This election can become a sign of status for the parties in 2019 elections.

Stay tuned to Jan Ki Baat for more on-ground coverage.


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