<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was quite clear that the BJP would show leniency with the OBC community in the 2017 Assembly polls to be held in Gujarat, as the party’s major vote bank, the Patel community, stood against the party on the issue of reservation.The party announced the names of candidates for 70 of the 182 seats and as many as 25 seats have been given to the OBC community leaders. Community wise, OBC has 55 per cent space.Party president Amit Shah had himself indicated from the floor of the last Assembly session held in August and that was again his last day in the house. Shah had said that the core agendas of Gujarat elections would be the OBC community and Narmada project. The party has also seen that the OBC community have not wavered from BJP to any other party in the last 10 years.A very senior leader of the party said, “Ever since Narendra Modi became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he gave special attention to the OBC community and many castes like Koli, Thakor, Chaudhary and others showed their trust in the BJP in form of votes during every elections thereafter. The community has the greatest vote share in the state. So this is natural that tickets would be given to the community, which has dominance in state.””There are almost 146 castes included the OBC category as per the OBC Commission in the state. But the dominant castes are only 10 to 8 in this category. The party has given preference to such leaders who have great following in thier castes and they are Koli, Thakor, Chaudhary, Ahir and others. This is the best combination and balance of caste equation in Gujarat. The rest of 112 candidates also will be representing different communities,” the leader added.Preferences on the caste cardThe party has given preference to leaders who have a following in thier castes like Koli, Thakor, Chaudhary, Ahir and others.The community has the greatest vote share in the state and it is natural for them to get a large share, said leaders.
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