This refers to your editorial “Motaben – the puppet goes, another one will come”. The dramatic resignation of Gujarat’s first woman chief minister, Anandiben Patel on facebook reveals the fact that she was under pressure for almost a year following a strident quota agitation by the Patels in Gujarat. She should be chosen for the dedication, compassion, independent decisions, loyalty to the party or seniority cannot override these virtues. Anandiben, with all due respect to her, has failed in many major issues. It is well known fact that some leaders never accepted her authority and did everything to destabilise and dislodge her. Under her watch, Gujarat was slipping rapidly away from the BJP’s hand. Gujarat had turned into a veritable mess since last year’s Patidar Andolan for reservation that led to massive protests and violence throughout the state. The BJP’s image took a knocking when the Patidar agitation for quota flared up and the state crackdown alienated the powerful Patel community. Many in the party felt that she did not respond well to the challenge, which threatened BJP’s hold over Patels. In Gujarat, Patels comprise around 12-15 % of the total population but they are among the most influential ones controlling state’s politics and its political economy. Further, the Una incident is not the only one that forced an uprising by Dalits in the State. Earlier in July, a Dalit farmer was killed by villagers when he tried to cultivate a common grazing land in a village near Porbandar. No doubt, Anandiben has managed several responsibilities the party entrusted her and she has set a good example before the party as she wants the next generation to takeover.
Vinod C. Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)