Drama in Gujarat: BJP’s “Inner Democracy” or Just Another Power Play?

A significant development has emerged amid ongoing discussions about expanding the Gujarat government following the Lok Sabha elections. Gujarat Cabinet Minister Kunvarji Bavaliya is at the center of a new demand. A letter has been written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocating for Bavaliya to be made the Chief Minister of Gujarat. However, Bavaliya himself has dismissed this demand, calling it baseless and clarifying that such decisions are made by the party’s senior leadership.

Pradesh Congress President Shaktisinh Gohil has seized this opportunity to criticize the BJP. Gohil’s criticism, in which he stated that BJP leaders, who previously suppressed their inner voices, are now speaking up, is a significant development. He suggested that this newfound openness within the party is a positive sign of internal democracy. Gohil also recalled incidents where BJP leaders like Haren Pandya faced severe consequences for speaking out against the party.

Pradesh Congress President Shaktisinh Gohil

Since the conclusion of the Lok Sabha elections, there have been widespread discussions about the potential expansion of the Gujarat government. Amid these talks, a new issue has surfaced, causing a stir in the state’s political landscape. Bhupat M. Dabhi, former chairman of the Gujarat Thakor and Koli Development Corporation and a leader of the Koli community, has written to Prime Minister Modi, urging him to appoint Kunvarji Bavaliya as the Chief Minister of Gujarat. In his letter, Dabhi congratulated Modi on his third term as Prime Minister and highlighted the support the BJP received from the Koli community in Saurashtra, the Thakor community in North Gujarat, and the Koli community in South Gujarat during the last Lok Sabha elections.

Dabhi emphasized the significant representation of the Koli community in Gujarat, noting that they constitute 32% of the state’s population. He argued that appointing Bavaliya as Chief Minister would address the sentiments and demands of the Koli community. In a statement to the media, Dabhi mentioned that a survey of the Koli community supported this demand. He pointed out that there are 295 Koli community sarpanchs in Gujarat, and the community has a strong presence in various districts and taluka panchayats across the state. Dabhi asserted that Bavaliya’s leadership would strengthen the BJP further.

Kunvarji Bavaliya recently met with Prime Minister Modi in Delhi, sparking various discussions about his potential role. Responding to these speculations, Bavaliya stated that he has no information about any such representation and is content with his position as a cabinet minister. He emphasized that decisions regarding such appointments are made by the party’s senior leadership.

Pradesh Congress President Shaktisinh Gohil continued his criticism by suggesting that BJP leaders’ inner voices, which were previously suppressed, have now awakened. He welcomed this development as a sign of growing internal democracy within the BJP. Gohil reminded the public of past instances where BJP leaders faced severe consequences for speaking out, highlighting the case of Haren Pandya.

As discussions about the Gujarat government’s expansion continue, this new development has added a fresh dynamic to the state’s political scene. The demand from the Koli community, constituting 32% of the state’s population, for Kunvarji Bavaliya as the Chief Minister can potentially influence the BJP’s leadership significantly. It remains to be seen how the party’s senior leadership will respond to this demand and the sentiments of the Koli community.

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