The Game of Patel, Patel, Bhai-BhaiNo sooner had the deputy CM of Gujarat displayed his displeasure at not being allotted any meaningful portfolios by not attending office, Hardik Patel has offered to get him an important position if he defects to Congress. The reason: the person in question has the surname Patel. Even after analyzing the results and voting patterns of the recent Gujarat election, some people with an inflated sense of self-importance (read Hardik Patel) still think that all Patels support him. That is very far from the truth and all Patels do not consider Hardik to be the sole champion of their cause. Analysis of voting pattern has proved that while a large percentage of the youth, especially in the Saurashtra region, from the Patel community, voted for Hardik-backed Congress, not many above 45-years were taken in by his hype. The reason is not far to seek. Hardik tied up with Rahul Gandhi, but Patels view both the Congress and the BJP to be equally unreceptive to their demands. They had rallied behind Hardik as they thought he would open a third front. The day he aligned with the Congress he lost many old-timers who went back to vote for the BJP.
By Sunil Garodia
Gujarat deputy CM Nitin Patel maybe miffed at being given cosmetic ministries that do not befit his status. But that is a matter between him and the party. The BJP, smarting under the drubbing it got in Saurashtra, has already reached out to the Patidars and is obviously not going to estrange Nitin Patel. Since the matter has now been escalated, Vijay Rupani and Amit Shah are going to offer him a face saving formula that will save the party the blushes and allow Patel to go back and tell the community that he has wrested what was due and he is now going to work for their benefit.
While Hardik Patel has tried to make the most of the situation by fishing in troubled BJP waters, one does not see anything coming out of it. Hardik has tried the age-old formula of trying to weaken the enemy to gain an upper hand. But Amit Shah is too seasoned a politican to let him get away with it. Nitin Patel will be placated since the BJP can no longer afford to be seen to be handing out a slight to an influential Patel leader. In any case, if Patel was made the deputy CM as a gesture towards the Patidar community, he should also be given responsibilities matching his status. New trends and challenges are emerging in Gujarat politics and if the BJP adheres to old responses it will lose more support.