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Fearing anti-incumbency, Gujarat government mulls holding early polls

The decision comes in the background of massive protests held by Patel and Dalit communities which are rocking the government

The BJP government of Gujarat is planning to conduct early elections in view of anti-government sentiments fuming over the state.

According to a report in The Hindu, the government headed by Vijay Rupani is planning to conduct early polls in the background of rising tensions over Patidar and Dalit protests. Elections are scheduled to be held in December 2017.

The frequent visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Gujarat are a clear indication of the frustration BJP has regarding their incumbency in the state. He will be visiting Gujarat on Saturday, making it his fourth in two months. The PM will be visiting Vadodara where he was elected as MP and resigned later. He held a rally in a tribal-dominated area of Dahod in Vadodara earlier.

Jitu Vaghani, a first time MLA and Patel was appointed as the state BJP president in last August.  A state-level BJP reshuffle was expected after his agreement as state chief. Vaghani’s appointment is considered as an attempt to woo Patel community who are on broil demanding reservations. Elevation of Rupani, who is from Jain community, evoked the wrath of big names, including former CM Anandiben Patel. Nitin Patel, Deputy Chief Minister and former state chief of the BJP was Patel’s favourite choice for the CM post.

Gujarat has seen mass movements of Dalits after the Una flogging incident. Patidar community is also on the streets demanding reservations in educational and employment sector. This move comes at a time when Aam Aadmi Party is desperately trying to win the support of both protesting communities in their political campaign. The call for early polls from BJP is thought to mollify the tensions rising over the protests which make up a huge challenge to the Government.

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