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Archives for : November2017

  Gujarat polls: 25 Patidar seats that will seal fate of BJP, Congress & Hardik Patel


Visnagar, a Kadwa Patel dominated seat in Mahesana district, hasn’t elected a Congress MLA since 1967. The BJP has been winning the seat continuously since 1995 with substantial margins – the sitting MLA Rushikesh Patel won in 2007 and 2012 by over 30,000 votes.

Until three years back, it seemed unthinkable that the BJP would ever be nervous about this constituency.  However, all this changed with the Patidar agitation and Visnagar emerged as one of the epicenters of the protests. During the 2015 protests, Rushikesh Patel’s office was attacked. In 2016, his car was pelted with stones by angry Patidars.



The Gujarat government accused Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti leader (PAAS) Hardik Patel of being behind the 2015 attack and has threatened to arrest him in the case.

Visnagar is a microcosm of the BJP’s Patidar challenge. Forget winning, in several seats BJP is finding it difficult to even campaign.  For instance, in the Leuva Patel-dominated diamond-polishing hub of Varachha in Surat, BJP leaders and cadres were driven out by Patidar protestors shouting “Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar”.  The Varachha area has three  Assembly seats – Varachha, Karanj and Kamrej – all BJP strongholds.

The BJP’s state unit is said to have submitted a report to the high command, expressing fears that the party might lose 25 of the Patel-dominated seats. This report was based on inputs by cadres involved in the Gujarat Gaurav Lok Sampark Yatra. The party fears losing ground in some of its strongholds in Rajkot, Amreli, Mahesana and Surat districts.

Patidar dominated seats across Gujarat are witnessing unprecedented battles. In many of these areas, Patidar support for BJP pre-dates Modi’s chief ministership by over a decade and their rejection of the Congress goes back to over 40 years ago. But the anger of a new generation of Patidars, who have grown up under Modi’s rule, has shaken BJP’s citadels and resurrected the Congress.  Estimates put the Patel-dominated constituencies at above 40. Here’s a look at 25 of these constituencies.



District: Surat

51% Leuva Patel voters

BJP has won this seat continuously since 2002. In 2012, it won the seat with a huge margin of 61,371 votes, 28% more than the Congress’ vote share. It is a predominantly middle class area in Surat, where the political scene has been dominated by Leuva Patel migrants from Saurashtra.


Varachha Road

District: Surat

37% Leuva Patel voters

Varachha road is the major hub for diamond cutting and polishing. The industry is dominated by Leuva Patels. Most Patels here are migrants from Saurashtra.  The constituency was created after delimitation in 2008. BJP won by over 20,000 votes in 2012.



District: Surat

29% Leuva  Patel*

An urban constituency created after delimitation, BJP won the seat by over 49,000 votes in 2012. The sitting MLA recently had to face protests by Patidars when he was conducting a door-to-door campaign here.


Surat North

District Surat

32% Leuva Patel voters

BJP  has been winning this seat since 1990. The constituency is a major dyeing hub in Surat and pollution is said to be a major issue for people who are not dependent on the industry. The contest here has mostly been between local Surti Patels and Patel migrants from Saurashtra.  BJP has been facing opposition from within the Patidars across Surat which was reflected in its below par performance in the civic elections.


Surat West

District: Surat

29% Leuva Patel

BJP has been undefeated in this seat since 1990. In 2012, its candidate Kishore Vankawala won with a margin of over 69,000, among the highest in the state. Vankawala died in 2013.



District: Rajkot

Dhoraji: 23% Kadwa, 21% Leuva Patel voters

Dhoraji is the turf of strongman Vitthal Radadiya. He won the seat first on a BJP ticket in 1990 and was unbeaten as a Congress candidate till 2012. He defected to BJP in 2013 and is the BJP MP from Porbandar. Among BJP leaders, Radadiya has been the most vicious in his attacks on Hardik Patel.  Besides being a Patidar-dominated seat, it also has a sizable proportion of Muslim voters at around 19%.



District: Rajkot

33% Leuva Patel voters

In 2013, Vithal Radadiya’s son Jayesh won the bypoll from this seat on a BJP ticket with a huge margin of almost 53,000 votes. The area witnessed intense protests during the Patidar agitation and there is said to be significant discontent among the Patels, mostly Leuvas, in this constituency.



District: Rajkot

41% Leuva Patel voters

Former Minister of State for Home Gordhan Zadaphia, a Patel, had contested on a GPP ticket in 2012, but lost to the BJP. Anticipating an erosion of Patidar votes, BJP had put up a Kshatriya from the seat.



District: Mahesana

42% Kadwa Patel voters

Unjha is a VIP constituency as it includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthplace Vadnagar. The Congress hasn’t won the seat since 1972. BJP’s Narayanbhai Patel has been winning the seat since 1995. He won the seat with a margin of over 24,000 votes (17.8%) in 2012.



District: Mahesana

31% Kadva Patel

Vijapur has been an evenly contested seat between the Congress and BJP. The two parties have won the seat four times each since 1980. In 2012, the seat was won by Prahlad Patel of the Congress.  Besides Patels, Vijapur also has a strong Thakor presence like most other seats in Mahesana district.



Mahesana district

29% Kadva Patel

Congress hasn’t won this seat since 1967. Since 1995, it has been electing a BJP MLA.  Sitting MLA Rushikesh Patel, an engineer turned builder, was attacked allegedly by Patidar protestors in 2016. His office was attacked in 2015 and Hardik Patel was recently granted bail in connection with the case.



District: Mahesana

25% Kadva Patel

Patels and Thakors are present in strong numbers in this constituency, which is known for the ancient temple of Bahuchara Mata. BJP’s Patel candidate defeated his Congress rival, a Kshatriya, by 18000 votes.



District: Mahesana

25% Kadwa Patel voters

BJP has won this seat since 1990. Senior BJP leader and presently deputy chief minister Nitin Patel won from here in 2012. A hub of the dairy cooperative movement, it is a heavily Patidar dominated constituency with a significant proportion of Thakors as well.



District: Morbi

36% Kadwa Patel voters

BJP’s Mohan Kundariya, a Kadwa Patel, has been winning this seat since 1995. In 2014, he became an MP and is presently MoS Agriculture in the Union government. Congress has won this seat only twice in 50 years – 1967 and 1985.



Distirct: Morbi district

25% Kadva Patel

BJP hasn’t lost the seat since 1990. It was the hub of the anti-reservation protests of 1980s and the 2015 Patidar protests as well. Sitting BJP MLA Kanti Amrutiya, a Kadva Patel, has been a murder accused.



District: Junagadh

26% Kadva Patel

Congress has been winning the seat for the past two elections. Sitting Congress MLA Jawahar Chavda is an influential Ahir leader in the area.  He won with a narrow margin of 4400 votes in 2012, helped partly by the GPP candidate who got close to 11,000 votes.



District: Amreli

24% Leuva Patel

Located in Saurashtra’s Patidar heartland, Dhari was one of the seats that the Congress lost in the 1970s when Patels moved towards the Janata Party. It remained a Janata stronghold till 1990. BJP won the seat in 1998, 2002 and 2007. In 2012, GPP won the seat with a narrow margin, BJP came third.



District: Amreli

22% Leuva Patel

BJP won this seat from 1995 to 2007. Congress won the seat in 2012 mainly because GPP split BJP votes. But Congress MLA Bavkubhai Undhad defected to BJP and was re-elected in a by-election in 2014. However, his victory margin was narrow: 2600 votes.



District: Amreli

21% Leuva Patel

Congress hadn’t won the seat from 1967 until 2002, when Paresh Dhanani scored a surprise victory over senior BJP leader Parshottam Rupala, who was then a three time sitting MLA from here. Dhanani is a prominent Patidar face of the Congress. BJP’s Dilip Sanghani, four time Lok Sabha MP from Amreli, has also represented the seat thrice. Interestingly, this was a BJP bastion but the party’s hold weakened under Modi’s rule.



District: Gandhinagar

24% Kadva Patel

Mansa is said to be the native place of BJP president Amit Shah. The party has won the seat from 1995 to 2007. But in 2012, Congress won by 8000 votes.



District: Vadodara

23% Leuva Patel

The seat has alternated between BJP and Congress since 1995. In fact in almost all elections in the past 50 years, the seat hasn’t re-elected a party . In 2012, BJP won by 5000 votes. This is the seat of  senior Patidar leader of the Congress, Siddharth Patel. Son for former CM Chimanbhai Patel, he won the seat in 1998 and 2007.



District: Jamnagar

22% Leuva Patel

The last time this seat elected a Congress MLA was in 1972. Since then it has been defeating the party even in its waves under Madhavsinh Solanki in 1980 and 1985. The seat represents the decisive shift of Patels away from the Congress.  The seat has sent prominent BJP leaders to the Vidhan Sabha:  Keshubhai Patel in 1985, RC Faldu in 1998, 2002 and 2007. Before 2012, it became a SC reserved seat.  Raghavji Patel, BJP MLA from the seat in 1990 and 1995, had moved to the Congress but he returned to BJP in September this year.



District: Kheda

23% Kadva Patel

Kadi was Nitin Patel’s constituency before it became a reserved seat. The Congress won the seat in 2002 and 2012. It has a significant number of Patels as well as Thakors.



District: Mahisagar

20% Leuva Patel

It has been a tightly fought seat in the past two elections with Congress’ Heerabhai Patel winning by just 84 votes in 2007 and a little under 4000 in 2012. It also has a significant Kshatriya population.



District: Sabarkantha

20% Kadva Patel

The Congress won this seat in 2012 with Rajendrasinh Chavda defeating senior minister Praful Patel. But Chavda defected to BJP and won the bypoll in 2014, albeit with a narrow a margin of 2500 votes. The seat has a significant number of Thakor voters as well. Chavda is a Thakor.

*All constituency-wise data of Patidar population is courtesy Indian Express.

Related posts

UP-Woman Died Hungry, Ration Shop Denied Food Over #Aadhaar #WTFnews


The Yogi Adityanath government says its initial inquiries suggest Shakina died of an illness, not starvation. The family alleges that it had been denied ration under the Public Distribution System for November, because Shakina was too unwell to be even taken to the shop in a rickshaw, as she was every month.

Shakina’s family says they were denied foodgrains at the ration shop without her biometrics.



  1. Shakina Ashfaq died at home in Bareilly on Tuesday
  2. Family says ration shop denied them foograins without her biometrics
  3. Local administration questions starvation death allegation
Shakina Ashfaq, 50, was practically skin and bones when she died at her home in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly on Tuesday. Her family says she had not eaten for five days. The state government is investigating whether the family was denied their monthly quota of cheaper food-grain because Shakina, who was paralysed, could not be present at the ration shop for her fingerprint authentication for Aadhaar.

The Yogi Adityanath government says its initial inquiries suggest Shakina died of an illness, not starvation.

The family alleges that it had been denied ration under the Public Distribution System for November, because Shakina – marked as the head of the family in the ration card – was too unwell to be even taken to the shop in a rickshaw, as she was every month.

“My wife died because of hunger. She was very ill. We used to take her there in a rickshaw. This time she was very ill. We begged the Kotedar (ration shop owner), but he said he would not give anything without the biometrics,” said Mohd Ishaq, Shakina’s husband.

shakina husband ishaq uttar pradesh

Shakina’s husband Mohd Ishaq says they begged the ration shop owner for grains when she was paralysed.

The ration shop owner insisted that Shakina come for her biometric identification using a fingerprint machine at the ration shop, says the family.

The family is entitled to 35 kg of subsidised wheat, rice and sugar each month under the central government-sponsored Antyodaya scheme for the poorest.

Seema Tripathi, the official in charge of foodgrain supply in Bareilly, said there is no order to deny food if anyone can’t be present to authenticate their biometric data.

“We found out through the newspapers. She had an Antyodaya card. We are trying to find out the exact cause of the death. There is no provision of the government that people will be denied rations because of an Aadhaar card. We have alternative systems in place. If the person in whose name the Antyodaya card is cannot go, then there is a provision for other relatives to be given ration,” Ms Tripathi said.

Sources in the local administration also question the starvation allegation because they say Shakina had about Rs. 4,000 in her bank account. However, they have no answer to the question of why the ration shop insisted on Aadhaar biometrics to provide their share of food.

In September, an 11-year-old girl died crying for “bhaat, bhaat (rice)” at her village in Jharkhand, allegedly because her family had been denied ration for not linking it with an Aadhaar ID. The state government ordered that no one should be denied food benefits for want of Aadhaar-linking.

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विद्रोह और समन्वय के कवि कुंवर नारायण #RIP

कुंवर नारायण के काव्य में अवध की विद्रोही चेतना, गंगा जमुनी तहजीब, नए-पुराने के बीच समन्वय और भौतिकता व आध्यात्मिकता के बीच समन्वय की सोच विद्यमान है.

फोटो साभार:

फोटो साभार:

कुंवर नारायण मूलतः विद्रोह और समन्वय के कवि हैं और यही मानव की मूल दार्शनिक प्रवृत्ति है. इसी भाव में व्यक्ति और उसका संसार चलता है और इसी भाव में एक पीढ़ी और दूसरी पीढ़ी से टकराती है और इसी दार्शनिक भाव के बीच एक व्यवस्था से दूसरी व्यवस्था निकलती है.

इसी व्दंव्द के बीच एक सत और असत का निर्धारण होता है और उसी से सच के कई अंधेरे पहलुओं से परदा उठता है और उसके नए रूप प्रकट होते हैं.

कुंवर नारायण का जाना स्वाधीनता संग्राम की उस पीढ़ी का जाना है जिसने इस देश को सिर्फ राजनीतिक स्तर पर ही नहीं दार्शनिक स्तर पर ढूंढने का प्रयास किया था और बीसवीं सदी के सर्वाधिक चेतनाशील दौर में अपने सपने को आकार दिया था.

विचित्र संयोग की बात है कि कुंवर नारायण का जन्म 1927 में उस समय हुआ जब देश अंग्रेजों से मुक्ति का आंदोलन लड़ रहा था और जब वे गए तो देश की बुद्धि और चेतना को कुंठित करने और उसे किसी नेता की डिब्बी में, तो किसी संगठन के ध्वज में, चंद नारों में या कानून की किसी दफाओं में कैद करने का प्रयास चल रहा है.

इसी दमघोटूं दौर को लक्षित करते हुए वे ‘अयोध्या’ में राम को सलाह देते हैं कि हे राम तुम लौट जाओ वापस क्योंकि यह तुम्हारा त्रेता युग नहीं यह नेता युग है. यहां अयोध्या को ही लंका बना दिया गया है.

अगर कुंवर जी की जीवन यात्रा अयोध्या से दिल्ली के बीच सिमटी हुई है तो उनकी काव्ययात्रा आत्मजयी और बाजश्रवा के बहाने के बीच. यही दो काव्य कुंवर जी के सृजन के मूल में हैं यही हमारी चेतना के भी.

यह हमारी राजनीति की यात्रा का भी प्रतीक है और हमारे समाज की सांस्कृतिक यात्रा का भी.

भारतीय परंपरा और दर्शन पर केंद्रित यह काव्य कठोपनिषद की कथा में पिरोए गए दार्शनिक संवाद के माध्यम से हम आज के समय से टकराते हैं और सृष्टि-बोध, शांति-बोध, सौंदर्य-बोध और मुक्ति-बोध ढूंढने की कोशिश करते हैं.

यही युवा पीढ़ी का उद्देश्य है जो अधिकार जमाने वाली पिछली पीढ़ी से टकरा कर नए समाज की रचना करती है.

इसीलिए आत्मजयी काव्य में नचिकेता कहता हैः—

असहमति को अवसर दो. सहिष्णुता को आचरण दो
कि बुद्धि सिर ऊंचा रख सके…..
उसे हताश मत करो
उपेक्षा से खिन्न न हो जाए कहीं
मनुष्य की साहसिकता
अमूल्य थाती है यह सबकी
इसे स्वर्ग के लालच में छीन लेने का
किसी को अधिकार नहीं.
आह तुम समझते नहीं पिता,
नहीं समझना चाह रहे,
कि एक-एक शील पाने के लिए
कितनी महान आत्माओं ने कितना कष्ट सहा है….
सत्य जिसे हम इतनी आसानी से
अपनी अपनी तरफ मान लेते हैं, सदैव
विद्रोही सा रहा है.

कुंवर नारायण बीसवीं सदी की इसी विद्रोही चेतना को जगाते रहने वाले कवि हैं और उसकी प्रेरणा उन्हें सिर्फ प्राचीन ग्रंथों और अपनी काव्य दृष्टि से ही नहीं मिली बल्कि अपने आसपास घटित हो रहे राजनीतिक आंदोलनों से भी प्राप्त हुई.

फैजाबाद के एक संपन्न खत्री परिवार में जन्मे कुंवर नारायण के इर्दगिर्द गांधीवादी आंदोलन के साथ समाजवादी आंदोलन भी सक्रिय था.

समाजवादी आंदोलन की दो बड़ी विभूतियां आचार्य नरेंद्र देव और डा राम मनोहर लोहिया उसी जिले से थे. वे लोग उनके घर भी आते थे और कुंवर जी का लखनऊ से लेकर बनारस तक ऐसे कई परिवारों के बीच आना जाना था जिनमें उन लोगों का पदार्पण होता था.

यह सही है कि कुंवर नारायण को अपने जीवन में आर्थिक संघर्ष कभी नहीं करना पड़ा लेकिन वे अपनी पीढ़ी और अपने समाज के लिए सदैव आत्मसंघर्ष करते रहे.

उनका यह संघर्ष हमारे युग की विचारधाराओं का संघर्ष है. हमारे युग के सत्य के अन्वेषण का संघर्ष है और अतिसंघर्ष से ऊबे मनुष्य के समन्वय का विवेक है.

कुंवर नारायण हिंदी की व्यापक जातीय चेतना के कवि हैं और उनकी व्याप्ति सार्वजनीन, सार्वदेशिक और सर्वकालिक हैं.

इसके बावजूद उनकी काव्य चेतना में अवध की विद्रोही चेतना, गंगा जमुनी तहजीब और नए पुराने के बीच समन्वय और भौतिकता और आध्यात्मिकता के बीच समन्वय की सोच विद्यमान है.

उनमें वह तहजीब है जो हमारी सभ्यता और राष्ट्रीयता के लिए जरूरी है और जिसे घृणा और युद्ध की नवनिर्मित इच्छा में हम भूलते जा रहे हैं.

विडंबना है कि पिछली सदी में युद्ध को भोग चुका मानव इस सदी में फिर युद्ध के बहाने खोज रहा है. वैसे लोगों के लिए अपने से दूर गए पुत्र की वापसी पर होने वाली खुशी को कुंवर नारायण ‘बाजश्रवा के बहाने’ में कुछ इस तरह व्यक्त करते हैः—

तुमको खोकर मैंने जाना
कि हमें क्या चाहिए
कितना चाहिए
क्यों चाहिए संपूर्ण पृथ्वी
जबकि उसका एक कोना
बहुत है देह बराबर जीवन
जीने के लिए
और पूरा आकाश खाली पड़ा है
एक छोटे से अहं को भरने के लिए
दल और कतारें बनाकर जूझते सूरमा
क्या जीतना चाहते हैं
दूसरों को मारकर
जबकि सब कुछ जीता जा चुका है
हारा जा चुका है जीवन के अंतिम
सरहदों पर

नचिकेता का पिता बाजश्रवा से संवाद करके विद्रोह करना, यम के पास जाना और मृत्यु व सत्य का रहस्य जानना हर वर्तमान की आवश्यकता है.

कोई युवा अगर पिता से विद्रोह नहीं करता तो वह नया कुछ सृजित नहीं कर पाता. यह सामान्य जीवन का भी अनुभव है कि अक्सर पुत्रों को अपने पिता ही सबसे ज्यादा अत्याचारी लगते हैं.

उन्हें लगता है कि वे एक दकियानूसी सोच में कैद हैं और उनके जीवन को कुंठित कर देना चाहते हैं. इसीलिए युवा अपनी परंपराओं से, अपने घर से और अपने पिता से विद्रोह करने का जोखिम उठाता है.

लेकिन यह भी व्यापक अनुभव है कि जब वह जीवन में लंबी दूरी तय कर चुका होता है तो उसे अहसास होता है कि पिता से लड़ना निरर्थक था, उनकी कितनी बातें सही थीं और उनके पास लौटना कितना जरूरी.

पुराने संबंधों को तोड़कर दूर निकलने और फिर उन्हें पाने के लिए लौट आने की कथा ही आत्मजयी और बाजश्रवा के बहाने के बीच चलती रहती है. यही हमारी सभ्यता की क्रांति और निरंतरता की भावना है और यही हमें मानवीय भी बनाती है.

इसीलिए जब नचिकेता वापस आता है तो गृह आतुरता की भावना घेर लेती है और वह पिता से मिलकर बेहद भावुक हो जाता है. हालांकि तब तक बहुत कुछ बदल चुका होता है. उन्हीं स्थितियों को कुंवर जी इन शब्दों में व्यक्त करते हैः—

पिता से गले मिलता
आश्वस्त होता नचिकेता
कि उसका संसार अभी जीवित है
उसे अच्छे लगते वे घर
जिनमें एक आंगन हो
वे दीवारें अच्छी लगतीं
जिन पर गुदे हों
किसी बच्चे के तुतलाते हस्ताक्षर
कि मां केवल एक शब्द
नहीं समूची भाषा है
अच्छा लगता
बार-बार कहीं
दूर से लौटना
अपनों के पास
उसकी इच्छा होती
कि यात्राओं के लिए
असंख्य जगहें हों
असंख्य समय हो
और लौटने के लिए
हर जगह अपना
एक घर

यात्राओं की यही अनंत इच्छा लिए हमारी सभ्यता विचरण करती है. कभी इस महाव्दीप से उस महाव्दीप तक तो कभी इस वन से उस वन तक और कभी इस ग्रह से उस ग्रह तक.

यह यात्रा व्यक्तिगत भी है और समष्टिगत. लेकिन इस यात्रा में अपने मूल पर लौट कर आने की एक इच्छा सदैव विद्यमान रहती है. पर वह लौटना स्वाभाविक होना चाहिए, जबरदस्ती का नहीं. इस यात्रा और वापसी में असहमति को अवसर देना चाहिए और सहिष्णुता को आचरण.

(लेखक वरिष्ठ पत्रकार हैं)

विद्रोह और समन्वय के कवि कुंवर नारायण

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