<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujaratis has never entertained political parties or fronts that mushroom on the eve of elections. Voters have always tested parties and leaders for years and some time for decades. The political history says that voters are smart enough to understand who are the night fliers and will lose visibility post elections. Gujarat has never made space for short term politicians — the list is long — starting with Chimanbhai Patel, Shankarsinh Vaghela and Keshubhai Patel.Gujarat and Gujaratis are different. A multi party system never won its heart. Since its inception as a state, voters voted only for mainstream parties, Congress or Swatantra Party. Even tall leaders like Bhailal Patel could not lead the Swatantra party to power after long political struggles. It is an ideal example that voters don’t accept parties easily, said BJP spokesman Jaynarayan Vyas. Voters are well aware that parties or leaders surfacing in the elections become invisible after that and so don’t trust and vote such parties.Political analysts are of the opinion that in Gujarat, excluding the Swatantra Party or even the left, no new front or party was launched on socio-economic grounds. This failed to attract voters in building a committed vote bank. Even charisma or caste based leadership has not served much in state polls.Citing examples of failure, Professor Priyavadan Patel, former head of the political science department, MSU, said, “Majority of the parties formed in Gujarat in the last 50 years were either by the political party rebels or dissatisfied leaders, some whom even did not enjoy the support of their own community across the state. Some had little ground connect.”In support of ground connect, Patel cited the 2012 elections, in which Gujarat Parivartan Party miserably failed. The survey conducted by his team suggested that Kehsubhai Patel, the former chief minister and GPP leader was considered a Patidar leader and his influence had not percolated to the last voter. There was euphoria on the surface that he will split the major Patidar vote bank of the BJP, but Patidars rejected him.Similar was the experience of Shankarsinh Vaghela, a former BJP leader, who belonged to the Other Backward Caste (OBC), and had a good clout over upper caste Rajputs and in many sections. This proved to be game spoiler for the Congress in 1998. His party got 11 per cent votes, but could win just four seats. But on the number of seats, his party ruined the Congress candidate’s prospects. Had he and his party not been in the race, the Congress could have returned to power, said Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee former president Arjun Modhvadia. He added that individuallym Vaghela may have charisma, but that does not translate into votes, which are the only means for a party to come to power.In Gujarat, no party is formed out of any movement or struggle, that builds a base and a committed vote bank as the Aam Admi Party in Delhi. This is the biggest drawback for all new offsprings, said political analyst Manibhai Patel.In some cases, such political parties are dragged into elections by the ruling party or the main opponent party to split some votes. Manibhai said, “Keshubhai’s party spoiled 3 per cent votes in 2012, Bahujan Samaj Party got 1.25 percent votes. When the Assembly seats are won with a margin of a few thousands votes, a few hundred makes a big difference. But voters know this and don’t vote for candidates of such parties, he said.INC: Indian National Congress, In 1980 it had contested as INC(I)JS/BJS/BJP: Journey from Jansangh to Bharatiya Jansangh to Bharatiya Janata PartySWA: Swantatra PartyPSP: Praja Socialist PartyINC(O): Indian National Congress 1(O)KLP: After former CM Chimanbhai Patel was thrown of congress had formed Kisan Mazdoor Lok PakshaJNP (JP)/JNP: Janata PartyJD: Janata DalAIRJP: All India Rashtriya Janata Party formed after 1996 revoltNCP: Nationalist Congress PartyGPP: Gujarat Parivartan Party 2012- was formed former BJP chief minister Keshubhai Patel, later it merged in BJPThe rise and fall of third partiesBhaikaka’s Swantantra PartyAfter Gujarat was carved out of Bombay, the Congress’ main opponent was the Swantratra Party. In 1967, it had fetched some 38.19 per cent votes (66 seats) and became the main opposition in the state. The first Leader of Opposition was Bhailalbhai D Patel, fondly known as Bhaikaka. feating Congress candidate Natubhai Patel. Bhaikaka was leader of opposition from 1962 to 1968. The party started losing footing and in 1974 merged with Charan Singh’s BKD. (Source: Party souvenir 1966, EC data& KD Desai’s research paper)First coalition in GujaratIn 1975, Gujarat first saw a coalition government led by Indian National Congress (Organisation) MLA Babubhai J Patel, who was originally a Congress man and had defected in 1969 with Kamraj and Morarji Desai. It was a coalition of INCO, Bharatiya Jansangh, BLD and SP. It served the state till March 1976. The President’s Rule was imposed for nine months after this. Once again, the Janata Party took over the reigns from April 1977 to February 1980.Janata Dal and Chiman PatelIn 1990, Gujarat saw a non-Congress government for the third time, led by Chimanbhai Patel through his Janata Dal. An economist, Patel started his political career with the INC and got elected to the state Assembly from Sankheda constituency in 1967. After getting elected to the Assembly a second time in 1972. In the 1975 elections, his party won 12 seats. Later it merged into Janata Party. He got elected to the state Assembly in 1980 on the Janata Party symbol. The party struggled for 17 years in the Opposition.All India Rashtriya Janata Party and VaghelaSankersinh Vaghela and his All India Rashtriya Janata Party came to the foray in 1996, after he rebelled against BJP. The first revolt against the BJP chief minister took place in 1995. The CM was replaced by Suresh Mehta, against whose government Vaghela revolted again and took over in 1996 with the support of Congress. In 1998, four candidates of his party got elected to the Assembly. His party merged with Congress in 2001.Gujarat Parivartan Party and Keshubhai PatelAfter being uprooted for the second time as chief minister, once in 1995 and the second time in 2001, one of the founder members of Jansangh, Keshubhai Patel formed Gujarat Parivartan Party on the eve of the 2012 elections. His party had fielded 167 candidates, of which only two got elected, including Keshubhai. Later the party merged with the BJP.


Test for two: The Gujarat power play