New Delhi: Gujarat Assembly elections are just around the corner and political activity has gained momentum in the state with Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the home state thrice in October and more than five times this year.
Not far behind the PM, the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi (who is all set to become president of the party) has also visited the state quite frequently recently.
The Election Commission is yet to announced the dates for the Assembly elections in Gujarat and parties are trying to using the time in their favour.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been in power for the last two decades in Gujarat with Modi himself being the CM of the state before becoming the PM.
Screen grab: Google maps
A third player in Gujarat
Interestingly, in Gujarat, in addition to BJP and Congress, there is a third player--Hardik Patel--(who is giving an additional boost to the political motion).
Quota spearhead Hardik Patel can play the role of kingmaker in the state as he commands considerable influence over Patidar community of the state.
There are also reports doing rounds that Hardik Patel met Rahul Gandhi in a hotel in Ahmedabad on Monday. However, denial came immediately.
In an exclusive interview to ABP Live's Anurag Kumar, Hardik Patel in May 2017, had hinted that he may support Congress party.
EXCLUSIVE: Modi only 'burst balloons in air'; BJP won't win more than 60 seats in Gujarat, says Hardik Patel
Recently, again he hinted the same to the channel.
"Congress is better than BJP," Hardik Patel said in an exclusive conversation with ABP News channel, on Sunday.
Patidars, reportedly, represents 12.3% of the population of Gujarat and Hardik Patel with his oratorical skills commands significant influence over them.
Anti-incumbency plus support for Congress plus Patidar factor may turn the table in favour of the Congress party.
If Congress, by chance, with the support of Patidars comes to power, it will going to be a big blow for the ruling BJP, given the fact that General elections are also scheduled to take place in 2019.
The result of Gujarat Assembly elections will definitely affect the result of the General election of 2019.
And even if Congress fails to come to power, it appears, that the grand old party is all set to give a tough fight. Continous visits of Rahul Gandhi to the state is a proof of that.
Whatever will be the result, it will be interesting to watch.
About the author: Author is an Associate Producer in ABP News Network Pvt Ltd and tweets at @AnuragSason
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of ABP News Network Pvt Ltd.