Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: The upcoming general elections in 2019 are going to be the battle for survival and subsistence for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But even Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s critics agree upon the fact that both the leaders work really hard and plan well in advance their moves for national and regional politics to win as compared to their arch rival Congress. Mahendrasinh Vaghela, the son of prominent Gujarat politician Shankersinh Vaghela had joined the BJP about four months ago, but on Dussehra yesterday (Thursday) he sent out a four-line resignation letter to state party chief Jitu Vaghani. One might wonder that it is common for politicians to switch side and later move back to the mother ship, but this was something different. According to reports, it was Amit Shah, who compelled Mahendrasinh to put down his papers and quit the party.

There is no denying of the fact that the tides and not flowing the favor of the BJP across the country, as it was in 2014. BJP’s graph of public sentiment has been constantly on a decline. Despite this, Congress or any other third front still lack the power and ammo to dethrone the BJP and as a result, Narendra Modi might continue with his regime despite having lesser seats. The BJP is trying to ensure that their confidence doesn’t go their head and hence they are playing every possible political game to regain or retain the seats which they might lose in the upcoming polls. Shankersinh Vaghela, who cut off ties with the Congress claiming the party has been unjust to him, is turning out to be the B team of the BJP in politics.

The plan was to divert the votes of those who were unhappy with the Congress towards Shankersinh’s faction, but because the leader has a bad reputation of being an opportunist, it didn’t work out well for the BJP. Shankersinh had even got his son and a few other trustworthy followers to join the BJP. Any person, who once gets to taste power, remains greedy for it forever. Shankersinh, who criticizes the BJP at every given opportunity in the public sphere, is discreetly in cahoots with Modi and Shah, a fact that even the topmost leader of the state is well aware of. But the common man has no clue about this.

There is a well-planned strategy by Shankersinh behind Mahendrasinh’s resignation too. In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress caused a massive dent in the armor of BJP but failed to come to power. The BJP seems to have learned its lesson from it that this could affect their aspirations in 2019 too. The party knows that it might bleed more votes in the general elections, which would go straight to Congress. But if it goes to a third faction, the party still has a chance to retain its power.

On the other hand, Congress seems to be continuing its string of foolish decisions taken by it during the regional elections and now in the run-up to the general elections. Informed sources say that it has sent out feelers to Sharad Pawar’s NCP to come forth as a third front in the state. NCP’s Jayant Boski is known to have helped out the BJP when in need in the state. But this role will be now portrayed in a grander scale by Shankersinh. Also, BJP won’t face much trouble from Congress as it is believed that the Dalit and minority votes would go to the NCP. According to sources, the Congress has offered the NCP four out of the 26 seats, of which one would be given to Mahendrasinh. It is also believed that Mahendrasinh has been asked to field his candidates in those regions where the Congress is strong.

This way, Mahendrasinh is simply maneuvering the dejected votes to the third faction instead of Congress and thus discreetly helping the BJP. Shankesinh is believed to have made a pact with Amit Shah that the BJP will take care of Mahendrasinh if he wins the elections.

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