Gujarat elections: BJP seems to have an edge in a close contest

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As per the poll, the BJP is likely to get 91-99 seats while the Congress may clinch 78-86 seats in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly.

"The Gujarat voters have already made a decision to vote BJP government out, largely because the so-called "Gujarat Model" was a fictitious and fraudulent spin which today stands totally exposed".

The survey also found that the popularity of the Patidar leader Hardik Patel declined to 58 per cent in November from 64 per cent in October. The opinion poll predicts 23-27 seats (46% vote share) for the BJP whereas, 6-10 seats (39% vote share) for the Congress.

In the 2012 Gujarat polls, the BJP received 47.85 % of the valid votes, while the Congress garnered 38.93%.

After the recent closely fought battle for local bodies, which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won, top leaders of Uttar Pradesh are now set to lock horns on a different turf, for a different objective - the Gujarat Assembly elections 2017. This also holds true that the wrath for the BJP does not mean love for the Congress but as people want to express their anger, they would just go the Congress way. A few months back, the BJP was expected to lead the way with a vote share of 59 percent and it was projected that the party might win 144-152 of the total 182 seats in Gujarat.

Since the last two decades, the BJP was enjoying support of the Patidars, be it urban or rural voters.

While Thakor has already joined the Congress, Patel and Mevani moved closer to the opposition party and appealed to their respective communities not to vote for the BJP.

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In how many phases will the Gujarat elections be conducted in? Others may get up to 0 seats (15% vote share). This is because Gujarat has become a question of honor for Modi and Amit Shah because they both are from this state.

Thus, unless a big shift in votes from BJP to Congress occurs this time, the BJP may still end up winning numerous high-victory-margin seats even though the margins may decline this time.

The BJP, however, is dismissive of the Congress's optimism, insisting it would come out with flying colours on the strength of the performance of its successive governments. While the Congress is elated to see the new caste dynamics coming to its rescue, the BJP still believes that no one is leaving its ship.

However, the BJP feels this is not going to happen.

However, the Congress is still hoping and trying to get its workers together on the D-day along with the effective combination of dedicated supporters of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mewani, ensures that the Congress gets nothing less than victory in the Gujarat assembly polls, scheduled to be held in two phases on 9 Dec and 14 December.

Harshad Patel, a state BJP spokesperson, said, "We have identified several small groups and sub-castes within the OBCs, which are not very vocal but their presence in certain pockets is very important".

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