22 June, 2021

Call It Internal Democracy

With election day near, both the BJP and Congress are hard-pressed to quell the dissent within

Call It Internal Democracy
Forget Hindutva and the post-Godhra riots. One crucial factor with a direct bearing on the December 12 Gujarat polls is the infighting in the two major parties—the BJP and the Congress. While ticket distribution wrangles and the Haren Pandya factor dogs the BJP, the Congress became a party of ridicule when a ticket aspirant, Nazneen Bastawala, attempted suicide by downing tranquilisers when denied a ticket even though she was listed as an official nominee.

Instead, the ticket went to sitting party MLA Farooq Shaikh, whose supporters had earlier ransacked the party office in Ahmedabad and even stoned Bastawala’s house. The Congress ranks are also critical of the poor selections for the tribal seats of south Gujarat. In one constituency, it denied a ticket to a candidate who had won a by-election just ten months ago by a huge margin.

And reverting back to kith-and-kin politics, the party has nominated about a dozen sons and relatives—some of them novices—of state-level leaders, including those of Shankersinh Vaghela and Amarsinh Chaudhary. Though initially the...

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