With the Gujarat assembly polls just round the corner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is leaving no stone unturned to woo voters. The entire BJP unit is campaigning for the party in Maharashtra. Since there is sizeable number of Gujarati population in Mumbai and other areas of the state, BJP is keen to connect with them ahead of polls. Many party workers are involved in door to door campaigning activities for the party and distributing party pamphlets. The social media department of the party too is involved in promoting the work done by BJP for the past three years. Since youths are glued to social media BJP is effectively using this medium to connect with them. The BJP’s Mumbai team has been asked to use the missed-call initiative to reach out to voters.
The Gujarat assembly polls is an acid test for BJP and its verdict will have a bearing on the outcome of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Already Gujarati businessmen are unhappy with the Modi government’s demonetisation and haste implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST) act. To appease traders BJP had to reduce GST rates of several commodities. BJP has also deployed several party activists in Gujarat to attract voters. The Maharashtra unit would be sending more than 300 leaders including ministers for election management and campaigning for the party in Gujarat.
Ashok Jadhav, former Congress MLA said, “BJP is simply indulging in cheap tactics by raking up Rahul Gandhi’s religion issue. Indira Gandhi might have covered her mouth with a cloth as some local leaders might have asked her to take safety precautions while campaigning in the aftermath of floods at Morbi. However, PM Modi should not politicise this issue. BJP should first answer that what work they had done in the last 22 years. They will have to pay heavy price for demonetisation and GST.”
Yogesh Sagar, BJP MLA said, “BJP is contesting the Gujarat assembly polls on development issue. It doesn’t matter for BJP whether Rahul Gandhi belongs to Hindu or any other religion. We have not made allegations against him. Definitely if party workers are campaigning for BJP then it will have good effect on its performance. BJP has ruled the state for 22 years.”
Dhananjay Munde, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council said, “Gujarati voters have made up their mind to oust BJP in the assembly polls. BJP had reduced GST rates after facing opposition from traders in Gujarat but they have not received much relief. The Patidar community has already distanced themselves from BJP. BJP is indulging in dirty politics by raking up Rahul Gandhi’s religion issue. It is unjustified to inquire about a person’s religion before entering temple or any other religious place.”
Prakash Vora, businessman said, “Businessmen and middleclass people are unhappy with Modi government’s demonetisation campaign hence, I think that the party has a 50 per cent chance of winning assembly polls. The party has failed to fulfil people’s expectations. People too have become wise today and BJP can’t take them for a ride.”
Sanjay Potnis, Shiv Sena MLA said, “Patidars are unhappy with BJP as they have failed to grant reservation to them. Demonetisation campaign was announced in haste without proper planning. After the introduction of GST commodities have become dearer thereby causing hardships to people.”