Dalit agitation and political implications of the same finally resulted in Anandiben Patel’s resignation as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. This is perhaps the second Dalit casualty for BJP since Smriti Irani. Tensions in Gujarat are currently high. After the brutal thrashing of four members of the community in Una town in Gir-Somnath district by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow, Dalits have been on an uprising. Community leaders have vowed not to carry on with the community’s traditional work of disposing of the dead cattle. They have also appealed to individuals of the community not to undertake other works like cleaning severs. They have further asked government to allot agriculture lands to the individuals from the community so that they can lead respectable lives.
Perhaps another and rather bigger casualty was Agra. On Sunday morning (31/07/2016), an empty hall greeted BJP leaders in Agra. Just a few days ago, the BJP had dreamt of filling up the hall with 40,000 Dalits and giving a rousing welcome to party chief Amit Shah. But, its inability to gather even 1000 Dalits in a city that has them in huge numbers, set off a quick chain of political events. Casualty in Agra is rather big for the reason that Dalits form a substantial part of the vote bank in UP. If BJP has to win elections in UP, it has to vow Dalits. On the other hand Gujarat has just seven percent Dalit population. Further, the community had traditionally voted for congress and does not worry BJP much. However, Dalit agitation in Gujarat is likely to affect BJP’s position in other poll bound states, particularly UP.
While in UP BJP has to worry about Dalit issue, Patel agitation and complications arising out of the same are likely to affect BJP in Gujarat elections. The state has recently seen Patel community agitating for reservation in government jobs and government run educational institutions. Unprofessional handling of the agitation resulted in agitation turning violent and community getting largely discontented with the BJP government. Even more unfortunate was that this set of events happened despite of chief minister being from community of the agitators.
It’s clear that lately BJP has been doing badly in the political arena. First Patel agitation in Gujarat resulted in BJP being on a back foot in the state and now events in the same state seem to make chances of BJP coming to power in UP quite grim. Perhaps the state that was ones a stronghold of BJP is now doing quite the opposite for the party. Further, it clearly seems that BJP has recently done multiple political blunders in Gujarat and otherwise because of its political mismanagement. All speculations aside, we can be sure that complications of current events will be hazardous for the party in the coming state elections in 2017. In fact it is just a matter of time!