Ahmed Patel’s extraordinary win in the Rajya Sabha polls earlier this month sent shock-waves in the political circles across India particularly within the BJP. His win galvanised the depleting morale of Congress party in poll-bound Gujarat while, for the BJP, it was widely deemed as a personal defeat of Amit Shah, who also hails from Gujarat.
With the states scheduled to go for crucial assembly polls later this year, the stakes have suddenly become very high for the BJP, which has been governing the state since 1995.
Congress party has now alleged that the paid social media trolls of the BJP have since then launched a relentlessly vile and abusive campaign against the political secretary to the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi. Trolls have disparagingly addressed him invoking his Muslim faith and linked him to terror outfits and terrorists.
Rohan Gupta, the head of Gujarat Congress’s IT Cell, said although the abusive attacks against his leader was an ‘unfortunate’ development, they smacked of the BJP’s frustration post Rajya Sabha defeat.
He told Janta Ka Reporter, “This has been a BJP’s usual practice that they simply can’t digest defeat. Whenever they face defeat, they fall back on their troll army to launch personal attack against their rivals. Everyone knows that Ahmed Patel has been a grounded leader and he has never used bad language even for his political rivals. To launch such vile attack against a person as him shows just how rattled the BJP has become after the Rajya Sabha defeat. This has only exposed the BJP and its hollow stand on civility.”
Patel, a usually reclusive politician, known to be media shy, had told Janta Ka Reporter that Shah had made every effort to finish Congress party.
In his first exclusive interview post 8 August Rajya Sabha win, Patel had said, “I don’t know what problem does he (Amit Shah) have with me? I’m still trying to understand that but not able to understand. More crucial point is that he wanted to finish Congress party, demoralise our party since he was preparing for the next assembly elections. He was trying to ensure how he could demoralise Congress and our party workers so that they can sit at home.”
Known as the Chanakya (master strategist) of Congress, Patel has shifted his focus on dislodging the BJP government from Gujarat. Analysts feel that the Congress has the best chance yet to return to government under Patel now that Shankarsinh Vaghela has left the party with his supporters.
The party is hoping to capitalise on the three anti-incumbency factors, name atrocities against Dalit, rising anger among Patels and textile merchants’ discontent against the BJP government on GST, to corner the saffron party in their bastion.