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commentary

Cracks in the Facade: The Gujarat BJP and Elections 2009
Nikita Sud

The Bharatiya Janata Party appears to have had a stranglehold over power in Gujarat from the 1990s. There have, however, been electoral ups and downs faced by the party over the years, highlighted by its below par performance in Elections 2009. That the BJP has been shaken but may be far from being dislodged is made clear by the state of the opposition Congress. Gujarat’s electorate seems open to political alternatives. These will have to emerge either from nascent third party options or from a significant reworking of the pattern of politics offered by the big two.

Nikita Sud (nikita.sud@qeh.ox.ac.uk) is a research fellow with Wolfson College, University of Oxford, UK.
Economic & Political Weekly EPW

s the dust settles on the 2009 General Elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has little to cele­ brate. Far from ambitions of forming the government in Delhi, it has turned out to be one of the biggest losers of the season getting 22 seats less than it did in 2004. Its leaders can derive some consolation from the party’s pole position in a handful of states: Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and of course that ever dependable poster boy of Hindutva and “development” – Gujarat. The Sangh parivar’s successful laboratory experiment has unfailingly given the party something to cheer about for the last 20 years. In the 1989 Lok Sabha election, the BJP won 12 out of 26 seats, inching ahead of Chimanbhai Patel’s Janata Dal (JD) which got 11 and the Con­ gress which managed an abysmal three. The very next year, the BJP came to power for the first time in the Gujarat assembly in a coalition with the JD, thus decisively breaking the monopoly the Congress had had on the state’s electoral politics since independence. Throughout the 1990s, with ample help from the mobilisational and often violent politics of the Sangh parivar, the BJP consolidated its position. It has held power in Gujarat almost con­ tinuously since 1995. Tables 1 and 2 show the performance of the BJP in assembly and parliamentary elections from the mid to late 1980s. Power of course is never to be taken for granted. The BJP has faced stumbling blocks throughout its ascent. In 1995, former Gujarat BJP President Shankarsinh Vaghela walked out of the party with 46 members of legislative assembly (MLAs) as he felt sidelined by Chief Minister Keshub­ hai Patel and his backroom Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) strategist Narendra Modi. The disciplined “party with a difference” had been splintered by rebellion just like any other. Further cracks appeared in 1998 when some BJP

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legislators and ministers protested against the excessive interference of the RSS in party and government affairs. The party was increasingly divided between the moderates who did not owe their political careers to the RSS and the hardliners who had risen through the latter organisation’s ranks and were pushing its agendas in the legislature and government. Discord led to a low key campaign for the district pan­ chayat elections in 2000, with several cadres refraining from campaigning and others supporting rival candidates. A con­ vincing defeat in the elections was the logical outcome. The party also lost the municipal corporations of Ahmedabad and Rajkot which it had held for 13 and 24 years, respectively. The Congress and BJP’s reversal of fortunes at the district level is represented in Table 3. Losses in by­ elections in Sabarmati and Sabarkantha and widespread criticism of the Keshubhai Patel government’s mishandling of rehabilitation efforts after the 2001 Kachchh earthquake appeared to be the final straw. With assembly elections looming in 2003, the BJP seemed to be heading for a rout.
Table 1: Gujarat Assembly Elections from 1985
BJP (Vote Share %) Congress Others

1985 1990 1995 1998 2002 2007

11 (14.9) 67 (26.7) 121 (42.5) 117 (44.8) 126 (49.8) 117 (49.1)

149 (55.6) JD: 14 33 (30.8) 45 (32.9) 53 (34.9) 51 (39.3) 59 (38) Rashtriya Janata Party (Congress ally): 4 JD(U): 2 NCP (Congress ally): 3 JD (BJP ally): 70

Table 2: Gujarat Lok Sabha Elections from 1989
BJP (Vote Share %) Congress Others

1989 1991

12 (26.7) 20 (50.4)

3 (30.9) 6 (42.1, including the share of ally Janata Dal (G)) 10 (38.9) 7 (36.5) 6 (39.3) 12 (43.9) 11 (43.4)

Janata Dal: 11 (30.9)

1996 1998 1999 2004 2009

16 (48.5) 19 (48.3) 20 (49.8) 14 (47.4) 15 (46.5)

Table 3: Zilla Panchayat Election Comparison by Number of Seats: 1987, 1995, 2000 Zilla Panchayat Election Year 1987 (seats- 683) 1995 (seats- 772) 2000 (seats- 717) BJP 62 599 192 Congress 492 111 513 JD 91 n/a n/a Others 37 20 12

Source: Yagnik and Sud (2004).

july 11, 2009

vol xliv no 28

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ironically. The women’s welfare. Along with the BJP high command train carrying kar sevaks from Ayodhya in Delhi it insisted that the underperform­ caught fire at Godhra railway station. national and international tribunals alike. apart from his own personality described by party colleagues and rivals alike as “autocratic” and egotis­ tical. they show their dis­ the organisational and strategic back door enchantment with the incumbent govern­ gained some notice on being made chief ment by voting it out of power and giving minister of an important state. albeit by an representatives have been unable to make unspectacular margin of 14. Maya Kodnani vacated hovering presence of the RSS in Modi’s this position only in 2009 when the high court ordered her arrest for alleged in­ volvement in cases of murder. While more evidence is not really needed. have given him the thumbs up in election after election. An Akhil Bharatiya over the massacre of Muslims that Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and RSS man followed in large parts of the state (Con­ from his youth. When the party befitting the leader of a state and members faced rebellion in 1995.C. it can be ventured that Modi is a product of his time. The event a chance to the next available option that catapulted him into the national and ( Yadav 1999). abetment to murder and arson in 2002. More analytically. He held the had appointed. this trend to campaign for him in light of the uncere­ 0 can be attributed to a context where the monious way in which he had replaced 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 procedural democratic system is well in­ their leader and fellow Rajkotian Keshu­ Year stitutionalised. despite rebellion in the party due to Modi’s style of functioning that has sidelined many a leader. the RSS. Modi appears secure in the support of the “five crore people of Gujarat”. 2007. the party’s fortunes in Gujarat would with the highest number of RSS shakhas in 2000 have fitted a pattern we like to call “anti­ India. this is yet another example of Kodnani’s mentor chief minister Modi’s contempt for political and judicial institutions. Then. 6000 8. believer in democracy. The man described by India’s Supreme Court as a “modern day Nero” has been able to behave with impunity. We know that govern­ L K Advani on being made chief organiser ment functionaries condoned and even of the 1990 rath yatra from Somnath to encouraged the violence. While the English language media and liberals he derisively describes as “pseudo secularists” may be critical. the Gujarat BJP got a clear and large majority in the 2002 elections to the assembly. after the minister had gone underground.000 8000 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 Had the downward spiral of the BJP at career is clear from the site of his first elec­ the 4000 of the century been left unbro­ toral contest in 2001 – Rajkot – the city turn ken. read Hindu Gujaratis.commentary Figure A: Per Capita NSDP at Factor Cost (constant prices. All this without ever sacre of 98 people as Gujarat’s minister of having fought an election till then. Modi was accused of his cabinet monitored and directed the of skewing state politics and shifted to course of the violence in their constituen­ Delhi as the party’s national secretary. which was portrayed as popular acceptance. he was appointed general cerned Citizens Tribunal 2002. The ing Keshubhai Patel be relieved of chief district collector who visited the site soon ministership and injected an ambitious after declared this to be an accident. He made public proclamations Modi Enters the Picture about a conspiracy against Hindus and as Narendra Modi’s rise in the BJP’s hierar­ report after report has suggested. Despite all the bad press this shame­ 1998 he was promoted to the post of gen­ ful episode received. as late as 2007 Modi eral secretary (organisation). Padgaonkar and 1987. The chief minis­ Ayodhya to popularise the cause of Ram ter himself made incendiary speeches not janmabhoomi in Ayodhya. the woman post till 2001 when the chief ministership accused of leading the Naroda Patiya mas­ of Gujarat beckoned. His political success is a combination of the following: (a) The economics of neoliberal reform and the accompanying growth spurt that preceded his takeover of power (Figure A): available at S Thanu Pillai T. The pracharak into Gujarat’s political mix. Kaithamukku Thiruvananthapuram 24 Kerala Ph: 2471943 vol xliv no 28 EPW Economic & Political Weekly 16 july 11. is a puzzle to many.000 votes. Under him. with voters regularly exer­ bhai Patel. He came into close contact with Verghese 2002). ignoring accusations of presiding over the most horrific carnage of religious minorities in post­independence India.000 14000 Rupees 12. Before matters reached international spotlight however was the this point though.28/481. As is well known. The reason he has been able to do so. In cies. decided to inter­ the violence started when a bogey of a vene. even approval of the shocking events earlier that year. he was able to lead the BJP to another convincing victory in 2007. is that he believes he has the man­ date to rule. never a firm mass violence of 2002. Gujaratis. the RSS more than made up cising their franchise. base 1993-94) 16000 16. Then. 2009 . substantive positive changes in their A man who had entered politics through everyday lives. presided chy has been meteoric. Human secretary of the Gujarat unit of the BJP in Rights Watch 2002. if their elected and ensured his election. Patel.000 12000 10. refused to resign and ignored the court’s orders for several weeks.000 14. While several BJP workers refused incumbency”.000 10000 1993-94 1994-95 1996-96 Source: Central Statistical Organisation. This. While contemporary Gujarat politics and the continuing popularity of a man who has been trashed by the media. new chief minister however thought otherwise.

commentary Table 4: Top Three Parties in Some Gujarat Lok Sabha Constituencies in 2009 Constituency Winner (Number of Votes) Runner-Up Second Runner-Up Other Significant Party Banaskantha Patan Mehsana Sabarkantha Rajkot Porbandar Jamnagar Junagadh Amreli Bhavnagar Anand Kheda Panchmahal Dahod Chota Udaipur Bharuch Bardoli Surat Navsari Valsad Congress (2.050) Congress (3.84. Maharashtra and Haryana (Planning Commission 2002).10.26. 2009 vol xliv no 28 17 .413) Congress (3. The party has lost seats as well as vote share in the assembly and Parliament post 2002 (Tables 1 and 2).158) Congress (2. the much touted Hindu hriday samrat has ridden the high of this Hindutva wave. its HDI had improved to 0. this had risen to 0.53.818) BJP (2. Gujarat faces not just widening inter­ sectoral disparities.536) Congress (2. Modi. The much hyped “five crore Gujaratis” never offered a universal mandate to the BJP and they are beginning to withdraw this even further. In 1993­94. In 1983­84.79. education and income.349) Congress (2.821) Independent (27.122) MJP (1.522).149) Congress (2.47. think and add caveats to what has seemed like a graph that would only go up. Gujarat’s human development index (HDI) meas­ ured 0.553) Congress (3.90. Gujarat has followed a skewed de­ velopment model and the disparities this has brought are more apparent today than ever before.897) NCP (6.81.064) Independent (28.400) BSP (10.729) Independent (13.47.557).290) Independent (15.30% by 2004­05 but it continued to employ a significant 46% of the workforce. BSP (9.570) Independent (16.07.07.11.37.057). the Gujarat BJP.225 in rural areas and 0.651) BJP (3.066) BSP (8.92. Due to policy focus on the secondary and tertiary sectors post­liberalisation.478).576) Congress (2.858) BSP (7.335) BJP (2.376) Congress (3.586) Independent (20.615) Samajwadi Party (SP) (29.54.534) BJP (3.81. MJP (6.135) BSP (31. Second and related. especially under Modi has been an electoral success story.258 for rural Gujarat and 0.98. the coefficient of varia­ tion in the incidence of poverty in the geo­ graphical subregions of Gujarat was 0. CPI (15. As a combined measure of health. Despite his own tall claims.637) CPM (29.661) Independent (26.840) Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) (23.019) Congress (3. (c) The global tide of spin: The promi­ nence of politicians from Tony Blair to Modi can be attributed to a modern day Economic & Political Weekly EPW convergence of politics. That the contributions of history. elections 2009 allow us to stop. It was 54 by 2005.653) BSP (14.445) Congress (2.12.64.519) Independent (12.257) BSP (4.48. Taking infant morta­ lity as a measure of health and therefore human development.82.192) BSP (16. but these are still its lowest scores since 1989. entertainment and advertising. In this context.83. By 1999­2000.55.521) MJP (7.933) BJP (2. the larger government appara­ tus and the state party unit have been left out of this tale is testament to the power of the spin machine propping up the “number one chief minister in India” as much as it is to statecraft.713) BSP (11.710) MJP (2.672) BSP (3.755) BJP (2.41.429) BSP (11.34. It may have added one Lok Sabha seat to its 2004 tally of 14 in 2009. for a high growth state.79. Here. Tamil Nadu.079) Congress (2.20.879) BJP (2.971) BSP (14.409) Congress (2.004) BJP (2.50.245 for urban areas (Kashyap and Mehta 2007). Gujarat ranked 25th amongst Indian states and union ter­ ritories in terms of IMR (Registrar General of India 2002. At the same time.967) Independent (23. it pro­ duced a large number of kar sevaks for this event and indeed has been a portent of the BJP’s rising electoral fortunes in other parts of the country. the politics of Hindu reli­ gious as opposed to caste or class unity got incorporated in the Ram janmabhoomi movement from the late 1980s.57.13. BSP (7.259) BSP (6.39.436) Congress (2. political economy.994).269) MJP (15. Modi the individual has been able to claim authorship of Gujarat’s growth and Hindutva trajectory before a believing electorate and a nation­ al party desperate for idols in the post Vajpayee­Advani­Ram janmabhoomi age. july 11. Gujarat saw multiple yatras in the run­up to the destruction of the Babri Masjid.395) BSP (6.524) MJP (18.705) BSP (9.648) Congress (3. Why may this be so? First. IMR was 62 in 2000. The Ram janmabhoomi movement and the violence of 2002 are clearly the context for this.89. Modi has built on rather than created Gujarat’s growth story.770) BJP (3.89. the state has welcomed liberalisation and facilitated the market with infrastructure and flexible rules well before 2001 (Sinha 2005. After all.867) BSP (10. HDI stood at 0.998) BJP (1. By 1991.787) BJP (3. but also inter­regional ones. symbols and style become as important as the policy mes­ sage (Grattan 1998).56. While these are improvements over previ­ ous years they fall into perspective when one notes that in 2005. The BJP reached its vote share pinnacle of 50.430) BJP (3.432) Congress (3. NCP (15.410) BJP (3. Gujarat’s record of human develop­ ment is poor.272) BJP (2. In 2001.82.992) Congress (3.268) Source: Election Commission of India (2009).42.70% of the Net State Domestic Product (NSDP). the same as Bihar. the primary sector employed 63.586) BJP (3. 2006).90.108) BJP (2.778) BJP (3.50.947) BJP (4.483) BJP (2.23. (b) The politics of Hindutva mobilisation that dates to the mid­1980s in Gujarat: Initiated as a counter to the democratic upsurge of the Kshatriya­Harijan­Adivasi­ Muslim (KHAM) combine and a proposed reservation policy for Other Backward Castes (OBCs).337) BJP (2. Punjab.666) BJP (2.371) BSP (15.4% in the Lok Sabha elec­ tions of 1991 and almost repeated the feat with 49. Gujarat’s infant mortality rate (IMR) remained unchanged at 64 deaths per thousand between 1991­ 93 and 1996­98.246) Surendranagar Congress (2.29. Sud 2007).274) Congress (3.970) JD(U) (63.65.360 and ranked fourth amongst Indian states in 1981.83.157 in cities and towns.554) Independent (12.700) BSP (43. wrench­ ing every ounce of capital from it in 2002 and through his brand of jingoistic politics that has been developed in the aftermath of that event.479 and Gujarat still stood sixth behind Kerala.8% in the assembly elections of 2002.80% of the workforce and contributed to 38. Elections 2009: A Reality Check Without doubt. the share of the pri­ mary sector in the NSDP had fallen to 17. This is a far cry from Kerala where IMR in 1996­98 was 15 (Hirway and Terhal 2002).655) Congress (2.431 but other states had taken over and it ranked sixth.83.

Through the 1990s. the farmer’s wing of the Sangh parivar publicly protested the anti­farmer stance of the current dispensation in 2004. 2009 vol xliv no 28 EPW Economic & Political Weekly . To add to this. refused to take oath of office as a minister in Modi’s cabi­ net in an act of dissent against the central­ isation of power. Hindutva.000 votes. along with BJP MLA Madhu Srivastava. Years of factionalism. one could suggest that the party faces growing internal rebellion. the man who was minis­ ter of state for home during the 2002 vio­ lence. In 2009. can only take the ordinary voter so far. the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh. A development model that is not inclu­ sive may lie behind the BJP’s falling vote share.43. A fter being appointed chief minister in a top­down manner. Modi has done little to take party members along. party tickets were given to those beholden to the chief minister. It has repeat­ edly demanded the resignation of the chief minister and refrained from campaigning in elections or even campaigned for rival candidates. lost chunks of its own membership to the BJP and flirted with ideas ranging from “soft Hindutva” to secularism. have pointed to a cult of personality. affecting the voting choices of the state’s 18% Patel population. given the atmosphere of dissidence. In the same year. one of the people involved in the infamous Best Bakery case is Congress corporator from Baroda. An industrialist was picked in Rajkot over Vallabh Kathiria the sitting MP who won the 2004 parliamentary seat by 1. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) too asked its cadres not to campaign for the BJP in 2007 as it felt that the party had not been true to its Hindutva roots. Gordhan Zadaphia. Congressmen (and they overwhelmingly are men) have tried out political tactics as far apart as re­enacting Gandhi’s Dandi March in 2005 to mobilise youth. The presidency of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has shifted hands six times since 2000.commentary recent claims by the chief minister that his government would compete with devel­ oped countries in the HDI stakes seem far­ fetched (Business Standard 2008). deinsti­ tutionalisation of the grassroots machin­ ery. the BJP’s ascent had been amply aided by an opposition party in disarray. Further. This however does not mean that the only other significant political formation – the Congress has much reason to celebrate. to abetting the 2002 violence aimed primarily at Muslims. They. it has welcomed disgruntled ex­BJP members. In recent years. the BJP candidates from Patan and Surendranagar were disgruntled ex­ Congressmen. as point three. In the run­up to the 2007 assembly elections. in turn. erratic ideological stances and a weak and ever changing leadership have great­ ly undermined a once strong Gujarat Congress. several BJP dissidents joined the Congress. with a majority of sitting members of Parlia­ ment (MPs) being denied tickets. The State of the Opposition Elections 2009 suggest that things are not looking up for the BJP even in Gujarat. After all. For in­ stance. Today. Party presi­ dents have included old timers who emerged from the KHAM electoral com­ bine of the early 1980s and an ex­RSS swayamsevak who was instrumental in 18 july 11. The Keshubhai camp has always been adver­ sarial. after all. the Congress controls the latter three seats. Chandrakant Bhattu Srivastava. The list of detractors has grown over time.

Vol 7. 1989­ 99”. Vol 41. Bhavnagar University. Of these. pp 603­38. A. The Mahagujarat Janata Party (MJP). accessed 26 May 2009. 16­17 December.asp?rept_ id=nad03_1993_1994&type=nsso. nor the Con­ gress.000 votes. P B Sawant. Australian Studies in Journalism. Forty­six per cent of the 26 MPs have faced cases ranging from murder and dacoity to rioting and cheating. K G Kannabiran. which has a scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) population of just below 20%. The Congress may have attempted to rejuvenate cadres and attract youth in the last few years. V R K. Shah. The MJP membership could move towards the Con­ gress and BJP in time. A (2005): The Regional Roots of Developmental Politics in India: A Divided Leviathan (Indiana: Indiana University Press). As a counter to religious. Fur­ ther. The party has made a dent in several Gujarat constituencies since it en­ tered the poll fray in Gujarat in 1996. The Muslim poor. Modern Asian Studies. however. 27­28 January. Citizens for Justice and Peace. floated in 2008 by some BJP rebels has also undercut the two major parties in some constituencies. In that most unfortunate Congress tradition. 21­28 August. Concerned Citizens Tribunal (Iyer. Mumbai. Change. Planning Commission (2002): National Human Development Report 2001 (Delhi: Government of India). Even in 2009. Sinha. The latter party in fact had been making promises about the removal of poverty for decades and the poor remained where they are. http://www. In fact. ignored or taken for granted by the two major political parties. India”.000 votes. the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate polled over 11.crisisstates. Nigeria and Ahmedabad. either because of new actors and/ or because of churning in the big two can only be a good thing for Gujarat. However. It has consolidated its position in the 2009 parliamentary election. which stabbed them from behind. Economic & Political Weekly. p 17). http:// eci. Yadav. developmentally and in terms of leadership. Hirway. H Suresh. http:// mospi. 2009 vol xliv no 28 19 . Concerned Citizens Tribunal. were caught in a double bind of religious as well as class exclusion in which both major parties were culpable. Sud. The latter will continue to dominate Gujarat not despite but because of the Congress. D Padgaonkar and B G Verghese (2002): Editors Guild Fact Finding Mission (New Delhi: Editors Guild Fact Finding Mission). their members usually coming out of and being absorbed back into a larger party. Keynote paper present­ ed at the annual conference of the Gujarat Economic Association. It is quite clear that this change will not come from the current pattern of ossified and divisive politics.nic. Human Rights Watch. it did not win a single seat but got 5. albeit modest. In conclusion. A third party will certainly be a welcome stimulus in the politics of contemporary Gujarat. They have abstained from voting – as we see in the case of Muslims in areas badly affected by the 2002 violence. These. Its politics of Hindutva. M (1998): “The Politics of Spin”. A and N Sud (2004): “Hindutva and Beyond: The Political Topography of Gujarat”. Spin too will not be able to take it far. Grattan. Yagnik. in particular.com/ download/india/yagnik&sud. class and caste exclusion. 41:3. two ex­chief ministers and/or with their ability to at­ tract a particular caste constituency. Gujarat has seen political alternatives. The Congress especially must be able to convey to its constituency what exactly it stands for – ideologically. Shah’s (2007) inter­ views in slums occupied by Muslims work­ ing in the informal economy of Ahmeda­ bad brought up the refrain that they could trust neither the BJP. the BSP nominated a Muslim candidate who polled 10.nic. some voters favoured third Economic & Political Weekly EPW parties in the last election.pdf july 11. I and P Terhal (2002): “The Contradictions of Growth” in G Shah. References Business Standard (2008): “Modi Promises 12% Growth. the three Congressmen from Gujarat who have been rewarded with ministerial berths in the union cabinet are associated either with their fathers.705 votes. promotes leaders of suspect political character and dithers over what it stands for ideologically because its membership is half convinced about the logic of Hindutva. In Surendranagar too. A (2007): “The Urban Living Room: Space and Identity amongst Migrant Communities in Ibadan.commentary the rise of the BJP in Gujarat. Unfortunately for Gujarat’s voters. In Patan. the MPs from Gujarat in the 15th Lok Sabha. Central Statistical Organisation (2007): “Gujarat NSDP at Factor Cost as on 31­01­2007”. the political alternatives are few. – (2006): Sample Registration System Bulletin. If the two main parties continue along the same old rut. they will open up the field for third parties. Gujarat politics has not been devoid of third party options. Unpub­ lished DPhil thesis (QEH: University of Oxford). This contributed to the defeat of the BJP candidate who lost by 10. Y (1999): “Electoral Politics in the Time of Change – India’s Third Electoral System. Kashyap. pp 32­45.in/Analysis/. Vol 14. has run out of steam. Business Standard. Right from Swatantra in the 1960s to Chimanbhai Patel’s Kisan Mazdoor Lok Paksha of the late 1970s to his JD of the late 1980s – early 1990s and Shankarsinh Vaghela’s Rashtriya Janata Party of the late 1990s.72 lakh votes over­ all. paper pre­ sented at the Crisis States Research Centre Conference on State politics in India in the 1990’s (New Delhi: India International Centre). To be effective parties of governance and deve­ lopment. Patel. till it keeps functioning as a machine of multiple factions.000 votes. In the 2007 assembly election. No 1 (Delhi: Office of the Registrar General). Development and Deprivation in Gujarat (New Delhi: Sage). The BSP however may well be able to carve out space for itself amongst a section of erstwhile KHAM voters. K S Subrama­ nian. the Congress MP from Porbandar tops the list with 16 criminal cases. have the dubious distinction of having at­ tracted the highest percentage of criminal charges. pp 37­58. accessed 28/5/2009. which at least made its ideological stances clear. both from the Congress and BJP. G Shah and T Sarkar) (2002): “Crime against Humanity: An Inquiry into the Carnage in Gujarat”. Mumbai. the BSP managed third place with 31. Gujarat. the party will not be able to counter the BJP. the BJP has had a long innings in Gujarat. N (2007): “From Land to the Tiller to Land Liber­ alisation: The Political Economy of Gujarat’s Shifting Land Policy”. 8 January. Development with ‘Human Touch’”. The people of Gujarat seem to be open to political change. A Roy.in/rept%20_%20pubn/ftest. however. a survey of the majority of con­ stituencies suggests that the BSP has made inroads. into a state we tend to see as a two­party bastion (Table 4. Sample Registration System (Delhi: Office of the Registrar General). pp 2393­99. have been one or two election phenomena. Those who have been excluded from the development model. the Congress and the BJP must spruce up their act. have showed their disenchantment on occasion. M Rutten and H Streefkerk (ed. In the northern district of Banaskantha. Human Rights Watch (2002): “‘We Have No Orders To Save You” State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat”. Registrar General of India (2002): Vital Statistics. S P and N Mehta (2007): “Gujarat 2020: Viewpoints and a Vision”.). Its leadership wants to project the MJP as a regional party with Hindu roots. May. the last two GPCC presidents have derived their political weight from that great claim to fame – being the progeny of former Gujarat Congress leaders. Election Commission of India (2009): “Current Elec­ tion Analysis: All Candidates Votes Polled”. No 3 (C) (New York: Human Rights Watch).