The HAJ trio with Rahul factor buckled in Gujarat: ACF survey predicts 130 seats for BJP and mere 47 for Congress
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 07-Dec-2017

Gandhinagar, December 7: Though it is premature to comment on the results of the Gujarat and actual numbers, the things are getting clear as the Poll dates comes nearer. The Masks are being unmasked, the faces are going in hiding, the facts are being revealed and the populace of Gujarat is entering into a phase where they are consolidating on who to vote and why.

The Alert Citizens forum (ACF) has always tried the pulse of the people of Gujarat with its poll survey in each election. As the final leg of poll campaign starts in Gujarat, the ACF has conducted a pre poll survey of Gujarat elections conducted across the state between November 25 and 30 predicts that the so called magic of so called young brigade of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Patidar left-alone leader Hardik Patel, new entrants Jignesh Mevani with Alpesh Thakore is evaporating and the Gujarat is all geared to get a clear victory with around 130 seats and the Congress will be marginalized to mere 47 seats in the 182 seat Gujarat assembly.

Predicting that the “BJP set for its biggest ever win in Gujarat” Dayanand Nene of the Alert Citizens forum comments that : “The predicted vote share for BJP and Congress in Gujarat is 52.3% and 31.4% respectively which translates into 130 seats for the BJP and 47 seats for the Congress”, and expects that the BJP is poised to surpass its best ever tally of 127 seats in 2002 and win the election by a major landslide.

Hardik Alpesh Jignesh - The HAJ trio

The Survey out rightly rejects the Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mewani on whom the The Congress is relying mainly. In Gujarat, the troika is currently being termed as the HAJ trio – a perfect footnote for the colloquial name the Congress is addressed as Mussalmano ki party.

The Media made and Congress sponsored tro are instigating casteism in Gujarat voters. Their mathematics is simple. If you can’t increase your vote share it does not matter, bring down the voteshare of BJP to grab power.

Nene states that Hardik Patel formed Paatidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and instigated Patidar Patel community to fight for reservation. The Patels constitute 15 % ( 8% Leuva and 6% Kadva Patidars) of voters in Gujarat. This is one of the votebanks of BJP in Gujarat. Hardik Patel’s supporters are the Leuva Patels who were the staunch supporters of the erstwhile Gujarat Parivartan Party of ex-cm Keshubhai Patel. The GPP had mustered only 3.6 % of votes and 2 seats in 2012 elections. Supposing that the same percentage of Patidars vote against BJP, it will not have a deciding effect on the results.

Alpesh Thakor is the leader from the Thakor community – an OBC (Other backward class.) OBCs form 40% of the voters in Gujarat and are staunch supporters of Modi. However Thakor community is a staunch supporter of Congress party and Shankersinh Vaghela has a tremendous influence over them. They form 22% of OBC voters.

Jignesh Mevani is the Young dalit leader supported by Congress. This will make no difference for Congress and BJP as all the Dalits who form 7 or 8 % of voters always vote for Congress and they are votebank of Congress. They never vote for BJP or a very small percentage of educated dalit votes for BJP.

Congress strategy – Rahul Gandhi- a gloomy failure

The Congress, led by its Vice President Rahul Gandhi has tried its best to turn this election into a battle of castes. ACF survey finds that Rahul Gandhi is putting in his best effort to level all kinds of allegations, asking completely illogical questions, thus questioning the basic intelligence of the Gujarati voter. He has promised to waive all loans within 10 days of coming to power. Frustrated by the fact that his mudslinging and allegations are not sticking, RaGa has adopted a new strategy of wooing voters – he has started visiting temples and is seeking the blessings of every Hindu God, comments ACF.

Dayanand Nene states that Rahul has slipped badly in the last lap. His claims of being a “Janeudhari” (One who wears Sacred Thread) Brahmin and a devout “Shiv Bhakt” have not only made him a laughing stock, as nobody believes him, but brought the entire campaign back to where the BJP wanted it – the Hindutva agenda.

The media hype of Congress is more a figment of imagination than real. As the election approaches near, Modi’s stock is increasing and Rahul relegating to the background. The picture is getting clear and BJP is expected to win with a huge margin.

Here is the full text of the final pre-poll survey of Gujarat elections by the alert Citizens Forum of India-

ALERT CITIZENS FORUM OF INDIA
2ND AND FINAL PRE POLL SURVEY OF GUJARAT ELECTIONS.
( Conducted across the State between November 25 and 30):
PART 1.
Gujarat enters its final phase of campaigning.

The first pre-poll survey conducted by Alert Citizens Forum one month ago had thrown up the following picture:
Vote share:
1) BJP vote share expected to be around 48-49 %.
2) Congress vote share expected to be around 37-39 %.
Seats:
1) BJP likely to win between 112 to 124 seats.
2) Congress likely to win between 49 to 58 seats.
As the election campaign in Gujarat enters its final phase, the two chief contenders for power, BJP and Congress have upped the ante. Allegations and counter repartees have become the order of the day.
The Congress, led by its Vice President Rahul Gandhi has tried its best to turn this election into a battle of castes.
The BJP has tried to counter it by appealing to Gujarati pride – Gujarat ni Asmita – thru its slogan "Darek Gujarati Ni Ek Hi Awaaz: Hu Chu Vikas, Hu Chu Gujarat (One voice of all Gujaratis: I am Vikas, I am Gujarat)".
In the last lap, the BJP has entered its trump card, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a final assault on the campaign. The party is taking no chances and has adopted a two-pronged strategy: hit hard at the Congress but also woo the voters by issuing subtle but sensible appeals of Gujarati pride and keeping their faith in ‘ aapdo manas’- Narendra Modi.
On the BJP posters in Gujarat, it is Narendra Modi all over.

The result of Gujarat assembly elections from 1995 to 2012.
Gujarat is a traditional fort of BJP since 1995. The election statistics from 1995 to 2012 assembly elections shows that vote share has been BJP-48 % and Congress party 38%, all throughout ( + - 2%).
So far elections all over India including Gujarat was fought over the development issue, but this time Congress has successfully kept it away from development and is playing caste card.
The Congress is relying mainly on its 3 new found friends – Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mewani ( who are now being termed as the HAJ trio – a perfect footnote for the colloquial name the Congress is addressed as Mussalmano ki party).

Let us look at their strength and weaknesses.
All these leaders are instigating casteism in Gujarat voters. Their mathematics is simple. If you can’t increase your vote share it does not matter, bring down the voteshare of BJP to grab power.
HARDIK PATEL: He formed Paatidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and instigated Patidar Patel community to fight for reservation. As the uneducated and lowly educated Patel youth were effected by sluggishness in diamond industry, agriculture and economy, paucity of government jobs, the instigation by Hardik seemed attractive for them.
Patels constitute 15 % ( 8% Leuva and 6% Kadva Patidars) of voters in Gujarat. This is one of the votebanks of BJP in Gujarat. Hardik Patel’s supporters are the Leuva Patels who were the staunch supporters of the erstwhile Gujarat Parivartan Party of ex-cm Keshubhai Patel. The GPP had mustered only 3.6 % of votes and 2 seats in 2012 elections. Supposing that the same percentage of Patidars vote against BJP, it will not have a deciding effect on the results.
ALPESH THAKOR: He is the leader from the Thakor community – an OBC (Other backward class.) OBCs form 40% of the voters in Gujarat and are staunch supporters of Modi. However Thakor community is a staunch supporter of Congress party and Shankersinh Vaghela has a tremendous influence over them. They form 22% of OBC voters.
Shankersinh Vaghela is fighting elections on his own after quitting the Congress. Congress party has fortified itself against this factor by propping Alpesh Thakor as a new OBC leader.
JIGNESH MEVANI:- Young dalit leader supported by Congress. This will make no difference for Congress and BJP as all the Dalits who form 7 or 8 % of voters always vote for Congress and they are votebank of Congress. They never vote for BJP or a very small percentage of educated dalit vote for BJP.
In the past, BJP has always beaten Congress by 10% margin which is quite comfortable to come in power again in 2017. BJPs traditional votebank forms the so called Upper castes, OBCs Koli Patels, Choudhary Patels, Shia Muslims alongwith the Brahmins, Patels, Baniyas, Rajputs and Kshatriyas.
So far voters of Gujarat have voted for the cause of development and are supporting BJP because they have tasted the fruits of development. Caste factor is redundant in Gujarat. But the Congress is desperate and restless to gain power in Gujarat. Congress this time is not focussing on communal feelings because there is nothing to show at all as the law and order situation is excellent in Gujarat.
It looks that Muslims would support the Congress (although Shia Muslims are staunch supporters of BJP. Some other educated Muslims may also favour BJP due to peaceful commercial environment and development factor.)
End of Part 1.
@ Dayanand Nene
President, Alert Citizens Forum

ALERT CITIZENS FORUM OF INDIA
2nd and Final survey of Gujarat Elections
Part 2.
The Congress strategy.
The Congress’ strategy—best described as high-risk, high-reward—rests not on its projection of a coherent vision for the state or the country or the projection of a dynamic national leader but rather a high-decibel rejection of the status quo.
The party’s game plan in Gujarat has three principal components:
The first is to emphasise on its criticism of the BJP for engaging in cynical majoritarian politics that is divisive—and potentially destructive—to the idea of India. The Congress portrays the BJP as a force that seeks to divide and rule India’s diverse populace while attempting to impose a homogenising vision of who is truly “Indian”.
It criticized the choice of a firebrand like Yogi Adityanath as the chief minister of UP, it alleged that the BJP was trying to impose Hindi at the cost of Tamil or Telugu, or persistently sounded the drumbeat of Ram Mandir. It alleged that BJP was systematically polarising India and no minority is safe—linguistic, religious, or otherwise.
The second component was to hit the BJP hard on the economy, the government’s calling card. The strategy was to paint a portrait of an economy that has been slowing consistently since 2016.
On the economy, the Congress harped on two frailties: rural distress and the lack of jobs. On demonetisation and GST, the Congress has chosen to play a more nuanced game. Wary of the tag of being hand in glove with black money hoarders, the Congress focussed on the botched implementation of demonetisation. On GST, the Congress accused the BJP of mishandling the design and rollout.
The third and final component was to arrange political marriages of convenience; these are pacts not between friends but between enemies of enemies. The centerpiece of this strategy was the formation of a grand opposition coalition—the Congress, Samajwadi Party (SP), and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)—in Uttar Pradesh that would create a mathematical juggernaut (at least on paper). The Bihar triumph of Mahagathbandan 2015—in which the JD(U), RJD, and Congress fought in tandem— was the template.
Hence, Rahul Gandhi tried and stitched up a coalition with 3 people – Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani - who have nothing in common and whose politics is counter productive and against each other.
Into the campaign, when Rahul Gandhi found that his strategy is not cutting much ice with the electorate and the appeal of the HAJ trio is not churning the magic he had envisaged – RaGa suddenly reinvented himself as a devout Hindu Brahmin and started visiting temples.
End of Part 2.
@ Dayanand Nene
Alert Citizens Forum

2nd and Final Survey of Gujarat – Part 3
Mood of Gujarat

As the Gujarat Assembly Election 2017 draws closer, it is shaping up to be a very interesting battle. Less than 8 days are left for the first round of polling and less than a week for campaigning to stop. The million dollar question on everyone's lips is will BJP win again or not, and if they do, will they increase their seat tally.
As a matter of fact, the Gujarat polls appear to have little to do with the state itself. It is being seen as a contest between PM Narendra Modi and Congress president-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi, who has now been repackaged and appears to be far more self-confident.
For Rahul Gandhi and Dynastic Politics, this may be a make-or-break election.
The Gujarat Assembly Polls are also being seen as a referendum on PM Modi's most controversial decisions such as demonetization and the implementation of GST.
What is the mood of voters across Gujarat ?
They have taken demonetization in their stride but dislike the GST. They suffered during the recent floods. Farmers are in distress, Dalits angry and Patidars resentful. But when it comes to the crunch, they will vote for Gujarati pride — which means Modi.
During my visits to Surat and Saurashtra, this sentiment was starkly evident: Some said, “It’s the first Assembly election since Narendra bhai became prime minister and we will stand by him,” Some others – traders from Surat said that yes, we don’t want GST and have been badly hit by demonetization. We shall continue to agitate against GST. ‘ Hum BJP ko zhukayenge, Modi ji ko mayemge. Par hum itne bhi gaye gujre nahi ko Congress ko vote denge’. ( We shall convince Modi, make BJP bow in front of us. But we are not traitors to go and vote for the Congress).
Rahul Gandhi’s aggressive swing through the state has rattled the BJP enough to target him continuously. With a sassy new IT and social media head, Rahul’s Gabbar Singh Tax (GST) barb and other bon mots were gaining traction in social media. But the average Gujarati remains unmoved by social media one-liners.
Gujaratis are a pragmatic people. They want development. The shower of new projects, including the Narmada dam’s raised height, power plants and the ferry service linking Saurashtra to South Gujarat are important to them.
Women are the other trump card for the BJP. When he was CM, Modi assiduously wooed women voters with a slew of women-oriented schemes - the law that exempts women from property registration charges if the property is in their name, other schemes for girl students have over the years built up a formidable women’s constituency for the BJP.
While the Congress focuses on Dalits, Patidars, OBCs and Muslims, the women of Gujarat could be the factor that could tip the election decisively in the BJP’s favour.
Gujarat has consistently out-performed most states in terms of GDP growth. Infrastructure in the state is amongst the best in the country. Out of 18,066 villages, 17,856 villages, account for 98.84% of the population have paved roads.
Sstatistics place the law and order in Gujarat as amongst the better states of our country. For living conditions too, the state would be one of the better ones in India. Where else in India would one see well-paved and beautifully lit riverbanks like in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat?
Rahul Gandhi is putting in his best effort to level all kinds of allegations, asking completely illogical questions, thus questioning the basic intelligence of the Gujarati voter. He has promised to waive all loans within 10 days of coming to power (one wonders why this is not treated as a financial incentive to voters by the Election Commission).
Frustrated by the fact that his mud slinging and allegations are not sticking, RaGa has adopted a new strategy of wooing voters – he has started visiting temples and is seeking the blessings of every Hindu God. He has probably visited more temples in Gujarat the last few months than he must have over the past few years or before any other state election!
Hardik Patel has brought the patidar reservation (whether or not this is permissible) to the forefront knowing that they have a small selfish voter base, looking for reservations, but a loud share of noise through some friendly media persons.
Then, there is the voter who knows his power. The voters have been hurt by the demonetization but they recognize the need for this significant step taken by the Prime Minister and support him. Yes, they have seen pain from the implementation of the GST but they can also see the long term benefits of this single tax in the country. And yes, there is the anti-incumbency factor in the state.
So how would a voter from Gujarat react?
Would they vote for BJP as they have done for so many years and continue to repose their trust in Prime Minister Modi? Or would they vote for the Congress and hope that the completely untested Rahul Gandhi may use a magic wand and deliver in the State of Gujarat something that he has failed to do in his Amethi constituency?
Read about this in Part no. 4.
End of Part 3.
@ Dayanand Nene
Alert Citizens Forum

2nd and final survey of Gujarat Elections. ( Part 4)
Maturity of the Indian voter.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s historic victory in India’s 2014 general election was a watershed in the behavior of the Indian voter. Now after 3 years, the reality is more nuanced.
On some parameters, like voting based on economic and ethnic considerations, there were discernible changes. However, the evidence from earlier election results suggests these shifts were well under way before 2014.
The voter behavior started to change after 2012 – I dare say, after Modi’s 3 consecutive victory in Gujarat. For the first time after losing power in 2004, the BJP discovered a leader whose popularity transcended outside his state and spread Pan India.
For the voter, fed up with 15 years of coalitions in the country and sometimes in states, they found a credible leader whom they could repose their faith into.
Modi was the new hero across the country, who caught the imagination of everyone. The Modi mania also gave rise to a new class – the educated middle class – and created a solid vote bank for the BJP.
Since then, the voters started giving absolute power to the party they thought was the best to govern in their respective areas. Since 2013, they gave BJP a whopping mandate in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh.
Later in the general elctions in 2014, they gave BJP an absolute majority in LokSabha. The voter maturity was underlined by their vote for AAP in Delhi and RJD – JDU in Bihar and last year in Punjab for the Congress - where they decimated the BJP and others.
They opted for BJP in a huge manner in UP.
In other areas—namely, support for regional parties, dynastic politicians, and candidates with criminal activity—the voters have demonstrated much greater continuity with the past.
Continuity and Change in Voting Behavior
• Good economics can make for good politics in India. While parochial considerations have been playing a central role in shaping voters’ choices, evidence from state and national elections suggests that macroeconomic realities are becoming increasingly relevant.
• There has been regional parties’ losing their influence in Indian politics and a surprising degree of stability in the balance of power between national and regional parties.
• Dynastic politics may not be popular, but dynastic politicians are. At least one in five members of parliament elected in 2014 came from a political family.
• Indian voters have a long history of electing politicians who are the subject of ongoing criminal cases and the same is continuing.
• When voters cast their vote, they do not necessarily vote their caste. Social biases remain entrenched in India, but the transmission of those biases into the political domain is imperfect and may be weakening.
• While the regional-national balance of power is steady, there has been an upheaval among national parties. For now, the BJP has replaced the foundering Congress as the pole around which political competition is organized.
• Politicians who seek to gain strength using identity-based appeals alone, have generally not fared well. While voters may harbor deep-seated social biases, identity-based concerns and economic evaluations are preferred. The most successful politicians have mastered the art of skillfully combining both types of appeals.
• The composition of the candidates does not appear to be improving, despite an increase in the absolute number of parties contesting elections. Voters have more choice than ever before, yet there is little qualitative change in the nature of the candidates themselves.
Vis a vis the Gujarat elections, after our 2 surveys, I will analyse what has changed on the ground in the one month gap in the two surveys:
1. Hardik Patel who was vociferous in supporting Congress and severe on BJP, has taken a different stand now. He is not canvassing along with Rahul and both do not address meetings jointly. It has become clear for him that Rahul is on a losing wicket and may meet the fate of Akhilesh Yadav in UP if he jointly addresses meetings. Hence he is not allowing Rahul to join him in his meetings or does he join him in his meetings. He only gives a vile request to Patidars to vote Congress.
2. All the bought out media is giving undue importance projecting the crowd as the indicator, not the poll surveys. This clearly shows that they somehow want to show Rahul as leading which is not the case. They are not referring to poll surveys since it will come in the way of their line of thoughts.
3. The media is not showing Amit Shah’s meetings or that of any BJP leaders meetings, for the fear these crowds are equally big or bigger and active too. Then the cat will be out of the bag.
4. Rahul’s criticism of demonetization, GST, hug diplomacy , Hafiz Saeed release, etc., have back fired on him. He does not have any issues except probably reservation. He is hanging on to it, though Patidars as a community do not trust him.
5. Many of the PAAS leaders have joined BJP, making it clear that Hardik is on the wane. The CDs involving Hardik in five star hotel and the sex tapes have distanced many among his community from him. His waning popularity, his support to Congress whom the people hate in Gujarat, are amply making it obvious that Congress is not even close. The massive victory of the scale that is being experienced in UP may be repeated for BJP in Gujarat.
6. And finally, after conducting a much disciplined campaign for most of the time, Rahul has slipped badly in the last lap. His claims of being a Janeudhari Brahmin and a devout Shiv Bhakt have not only made him a laughing stock, as nobody believes him, but brought the entire campaign back to where the BJP wanted it – the Hindutva agenda.
7. The media hype of Congress is more a figment of imagination than real. As the election approaches near, Modi’s stock is increasing and Rahul relegating to the background. The picture is getting clear and BJP is expected to win with a huge margin.
8. Read the actual calculation about the seats in the final Part 5 .
End of Part 4.
@ Dayanand Nene
Alert Citizens Forum


ALERT CITIZENS FORUM OF INDIA
2nd and final survey of Gujarat Elections.
BJP SET FOR ITS BIGGEST EVER WIN IN GUJARAT..
The temperature has gone up this winter as the Gujarat state assembly elections are just 8 days away. With no formidable third front, it’s a BJP vs Congress straight battle. As the fight is intense and clamor is high, Alert Citizens Forum have adopted a “ vote share vis a vis seat conversion methodology” to assess who will win how many seats. This method is adopted here because it is a direct contest between the two-major political parties.
We have forecast the vote share for this election based on the Modi wave (increase/decrease of vote percentage for the parties in the 2014 general election as compared to 2009) and other prevailing social-economic factors. This predicted vote share is multiplied with the average of the conversion ratio to get the projected seat share.
Data on election outcomes like vote share, number of seats have been sourced from the Election Commission of India and the Census 2011 population data of Gujarat.
The period of study has been from 1990 to 2012 elections. Except 1990, in all 5 assembly elections the vote share of BJP was 10 percentage points above that of Congress. The trend has been very consistent in favor of BJP.
As described above, the conversion ratio of leading and lagging parties is clubbed together. In case of Gujarat, for all the 6 elections, BJP was the leading party with an overall edge of around 1-point conversion ratio in every election with respect to Congress. Effectively, it is averaging the conversion ratio of BJP and Congress over the years. The vote share to seat conversion ratio of BJP and Congress for the target year (2017) is 2.5 and 1.5 respectively. The task was to predict the vote share for the parties in the 2017 election and then using the above-mentioned ratio, calculate the seats for the respective parties.
Two significant factors that will have an impact on the election outcome are the Modi wave (Gujarati asmita: an ordinary son of Gujarat is the Prime Minister of India) and Patidar’s anger against the state government.
There was an increase of 13.6 percentage points in vote share for BJP and a decrease of 9.9 percentage points in vote share for Congress in 2014 Loksabha election with respect to 2009. The increase in vote share to BJP is termed as Modi wave, as explained above.
The only difference in the case of Gujarat is that the face of Modi is not new in Gujarat. He was the face of BJP in the 2012 election, so the increase in vote share from 2012 election would not be equivalent to 13.6 percentage points. The effect is deflated by 50%. Effectively, Modi wave would add 6.8 percentage points to the BJP vote share of 2012 assembly election.
The Patidars constitute 15% of the total population of the state. Majority of this class has been ardent BJP voters for over two decades. The community started protesting for reservation in 2015 and government actions then angered them.
BJP is trying to pacify them, but a section among them is still very disappointed with the ruling party. It is expected that this section headed by Hardik Patel would vote against BJP in favour of Congress.
It is assumed that this section would be 25% of the Patidar population. Total Voters are 63% of the total population in Gujarat. The same proportion of voters is assumed for Patidars as well. The calculation shows that this section constitutes 2.4% vote share.
We have assumed that these Patidars who have traditionally voted for BJP in the past, would now switch to Congress.
The net effective increase in vote share for BJP is 4.4 percentage points and similarly the decrease of vote share for Congress is 7.6 percentage points. The two caste leaders Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani are also supporting Congress, but they are untested, and bereft on any specific agenda, so it is assumed that they would not be able to alter the situation on ground significantly.
Seat Prediction:
The predicted vote share for BJP and Congress in Gujarat is 52.3% and 31.4% respectively which translates into 130 seats for the BJP and 47 seats for the Congress.
This means that the BJP is poised to surpass its best ever tally of 127 seats in 2002 and win the election by a major landslide.
End of Part 5.
@ Dayanand Nene
Alert Citizens Forum of India