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Gujarat is not a one-issue state, different regions vote differently: Read how people in the state have voted in the last 25 years

Why do the people of Gujarat continue to be enamoured with the BJP? What is the reason that BJP is not facing anti-incumbency sentiments even after being in power for 25 long years? Here's the analysis of why the Bharatiya Janata Party has clicked in the minds of voters in every zone of Gujarat.

Since March 1998, the citizens of Gujarat have voted the Bharatiya Janata Party to power in Gujarat for more than 24 years. The reports and surveys suggest that the situation is going to remain the same during the Gujarat assembly polls in 2022.

So what is the reason why the people of Gujarat still continue to have so much faith in the Bharatiya Janata Party? What is the reason that this government is not facing anti-incumbency sentiments even after such a long time? What have these BJP governments given to Gujarat and what did the Gujaratis get from them that it seems that the equation between both of them has solidified over the years? In this report, we will talk about why the Bharatiya Janata Party has clicked in the minds of voters in every zone of Gujarat.

Kutch Zone

The Kutch region of Gujarat was known all over the world as desert land. But the devastating earthquake of 2001 changed its history, geography, and future. On January 26, 2001, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck a village near Bhachau in Kutch in which 20 thousand people died. About 1.50 lakh people were seriously injured. More than 4 lakh houses collapsed in this disaster.

This region of Kutch, which had earlier lagged behind other parts of Gujarat due to its natural terrain, suffered such a massive blow that everyone thought this area would never be able to recover again. But the development done by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the earthquake in this area has transformed Kutch beyond recognition.

By bringing Narmada waters through canals, the region was made cultivable and today this area has started to flourish in the cultivation of fruits. Apart from this, the employment opportunities created in the surrounding areas due to the development of Kandla and Mundra ports are unparalleled. Also, due to the astute business acumen of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, millions of tourists visit Kutch every year to witness the Rann Utsav in the white salt desert of Kutch, an area where no one wanted to go even by mistake. This has led to unprecedented economic growth in Kutch.

Thus, people in this area actually worship Modi like a god who has completely changed the people’s standard of living. The work that the BJP governments have done for Kutch till now after the earthquake is the biggest reason that the people here are seen supporting the BJP.

Saurashtra Zone

Irrigation and drinking water were among the biggest problems faced by part of Gujarat. In the past, after a long drought here, no crop could be grown on the land for years. But ever since the BJP government came to power in Gujarat, people have forgotten what exactly a drought means.

In 2001, when Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat for the first time, the whole of Gujarat, including Saurashtra, was struggling with an acute water crisis. In some areas, drinking water was also unavailable. In his very first term, Narendra Modi knew the pain of Gujarat and decided to fight the water crisis of Gujarat on a priority basis.

After this, CM Narendra Modi made the first Gujarat Water Plan, under which the Narmada main canal was built from Sardar Sarovar Dam. Water was supplied from the Narmada main canal to every nook and corner of Saurashtra and North Gujarat through ‘Sauni Yojana’ and ‘Sujalam Sufalam Yojana’.

Through the ‘Sauni Yojana’, the water of the Narmada river in south Gujarat reached every corner of Saurashtra through a network of canals from the Sardar Sarovar Dam, and due to this, two to three crops are now being taken in a year in the land in which once upon a time it was difficult to get even one crop in a year.

And because of these schemes, Gujarat has become a ‘Har Ghar Jal’ state of India i.e. drinking water has reached every household in the state through taps. The people of Saurashtra are not tired of thanking Narendra Modi and the BJP governments after him for this.

Apart from this, the largest religious pilgrimage centres of Gujarat such as Dwarkadheesh Temple, Somnath Mahadev Jyotirlinga, etc. are located in this Saurashtra region. The development of these religious places and the flourishing tourism thereby prospering the local citizens during the tenure of the BJP government is unprecedented. The citizens of Saurashtra will not forget this too.

North Gujarat Zone

North Gujarat is an agricultural area. However, initially, there used to be a lot of water problems here. Now, the situation is changed. Due to this, people’s inclination towards the BJP has increased. Also, with the significant change in the dairy industry during the BJP regime, the party is going to benefit in this region.

The BJP has also been largely successful in balancing the social equations. With most of the communities on its side, the BJP seems to have benefited from it in this election as well. Moreover, after Alpesh Thakor, a young leader of the Thakor community, joined the BJP, the Thakor community, which has a good representation in the north, is also backing the BJP. Besides, the party is also getting support from other communities.

However, the ticket allocation in these elections has led to resentment in some seats and disgruntled leaders are in the fray as independent candidates. Dhanera assembly seat is an example of this. It seems in the present scenario that the BJP’s game can be spoiled here. Experts say that the BJP will retain its overall position here, adding nothing new to it or losing anything.

Central Gujarat Zone

Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, and its surrounding areas fall in this zone. This zone consists mostly of urban areas. Therefore, the problems in these areas and their solutions are different from other parts of Gujarat. This is a zone that depends mainly not on agriculture but on business employment and all a government can ensure for doing any business, is a rule that maintains peace, enforces the law, and makes justice.

Everyone will remember that before the BJP government came to power, there used to be frequent communal riots in Gujarat. Imposing a curfew was a common thing. But ever since the BJP government came to power in Gujarat, there have been no major riots or riots other than the 2002 post-Godhra riots. People have almost forgotten what the curfew is.

In such a peaceful environment, business, employment, and industries have developed a lot in this area and the entire region has emerged as the industrial and economic capital of Gujarat.

At the same time, this area is mostly urban, so the level of education here is also high. Therefore, the people here also understand that it is necessary for the BJP to come and stay in power for peace and prosperity. Apart from this, there has been a tremendous development of tourist places in central Gujarat in the last two decades. In cities like Ahmedabad, lakes and riverfronts have developed. BRTs and now the metro have made it easier for people living in these cities to move from one place to another.

South Gujarat

Talking about south Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party is very strong in urban seats here, while Congress dominated the rural areas till now. But slowly, the BJP is making inroads there as well. A big example of this was seen in the 2020 by-election when the BJP won the Dang seat with a lead of around 60,000.

The BJP is a very strong party in all the seats of Surat city. Surat has been witnessing a series of works in the last few years, putting the city on the list of fastest-growing cities in the world. Secondly, veterans like BJP state president CR Patil, Home Minister Harsh Sanghvi, and Union minister Darshanaben Jardosh are also elected from the same city. This provides BJP with a great advantage.

The Congress used to dominate the rural areas of south Gujarat and also in the tribal areas, but now it seems to be gradually declining. The same thing came to light in the 2021 local bodies elections. The BJP won even in those areas where it had never won a taluka or district panchayat to date.

For the BJP, Modi is the only face and the Modi wave has reached these villages. In particular, the way the Modi government provided free food grains in the time of Corona and later provided free vaccines has changed the attitude towards the BJP government in rural areas and especially in tribal areas.

On the other hand, the inaction of Congress is also significant. However, there are some seats where Congress is very active, but this time the fight does not look one-sided. A big example of this is the Vansda seat in the Navsari district. This seat has been won by Congress for years. Anant Patel is the MLA here, who has always been trying to mobilize the tribal community. But still this time the BJP is giving a tough fight on the seat.

In 2021, when the Bhupendra Patel government’s cabinet was formed, south Gujarat was given good representation. MLAs from the Pardi seat to Kaprada and Gandevi seats were given a place in the cabinet. This is also working in favour of the BJP.

The BJP has repeated MLAs in all the seats except one or two reserved seats in the south. In most of these seats, BJP is assured of victory. But at the same time, it would not be surprising if, by Modi’s strength, the saffron party wins the seats that it had never won to date or it seemed difficult to win.

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