Non-upper caste votes decisive in north Gujarat in LS polls
Though Saurashtra region is considered a hotbed of power politics in Gujarat, the northern part of the state plays a crucial and sometimes contrarian role when it comes to elections.
North Gujarat has five Lok Sabha constituencies -- the state capital Gandhinagar, Mehsana, Patan, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha which will go to polls on April 30.
The region is politically dominated by non-upper caste communities like Thakor, tribals and Chaudhary. The Kadva Patidars are the only upper caste community that is politically powerful in the region.
The political parties usually select their candidates on the basis of the caste equations. That's why in many constituencies members of the same communities are pitted against each other by their respective parties.
Gandhinagar assumes importance as BJP veteran L K Advani is contesting from here. He won the elections comfortably last time and retained the seat last time.
In 2009, Congress's Suresh Patel was his main rival in the polls. Mallika Sarabhai, classical dancer and social activitist, also contested from here as an Independent candidate and finished in the third position. In total, there were 19 candidates in the fray.
This time Kirit Patel from Congress is contesting against Mr Advani.
Since Mr Advani is a national leader and his victory is a personal prestige issue for Chief Minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the caste factor would not have in effect on the poll results at the seat.
(Posted on 17-04-2014)