The BJP has been known for its social engineering. Both the BJP and the Congress have ensured that caste-based politics remains relevant by placing candidates from the same community in 57 out of the 142 unreserved seats. Moreover, several caste-backed social organisations, including the OBC organisations spearheaded by Alpesh Thakor, the Patidar agitation led by Hardik Patel, and the Dalit movement led by Jignesh Mevani, have further ensured that caste remains relevant. These agitations had dented the BJP’s winning proportion in 2017 and brought down the number of seats to less than 100. This time, the BJP ensured that many of these organisations and their leaders support it and even get tickets. This move placated the concerned communities and benefited the BJP.
The BJP has been able to forge a truly ‘Hindu’ rainbow coalition with all the Hindu communities extending reasonably good support to the party.
Bhanu Parmar is the State coordinator in Gujarat and Devesh Kumar is a researcher at Lokniti-CSDS