BJP tries to reconcile with Patidars during Modi’s visit to Gujarat
May 28, 2022, 4:22 p.m.
3 minute read
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a bid to woo the Patidar community ahead of the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls, launched a multi-specialty hospital in Atkot village in Rajkot.
Rajkot is the heart of the Saurashtra region, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has faced electoral challenges since the Patidar Reserve protests in 2015.
Why is this story important?
- Patidar Patels has been a major driving force behind the BJP’s rise to power in Gujarat and its continued dominance since 1998.
- They hold a significant number of seats in the Assembly of 182 seats, including nine in Saurashtra, three in North Gujarat and four in Surat.
- Furthermore, the Patels play a significant role in nearly 55 seats in Gujarat and are considered important money managers in electoral politics.
What did the PM say after the inauguration of the hospital?
“When people’s efforts connect with government efforts, our strength to serve increases. This modern hospital in Rajkot is a prime example,” Prime Minister Modi said shortly after the hospital’s inauguration.
The Shree Patel Seva Samaj Trust (SPSST), a charitable trust run by Patidar, has constructed the 200-bed multi-specialty KD Parvadiya Hospital at a cost of Rs. 50 crores.
BJP tries to woo Patidars ahead of Gujarat elections
The BJP senior leadership is doing all it can, including appointing a Chief Minister Patel and creating a new ministry last year, to re-engage Patidars who were disillusioned with the party ahead of the 2017 elections in the aftermath of Hardik Patel’s quota agitation.
Notably, Patel quit the Congress party last week and said he was ready to join the BJP.
Made efforts to realize Gandhi-Patel’s India dreams: Modi
While outlining the achievements of the BJP-led central government over the past eight years, Modi said on Saturday that the party was working to build the type of India envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel.
Modi said the Center strives to help the poor and unemployed, especially in times of crisis.
He also described how the culture and values of Gujarat inspired him to serve the nation.
Gujarat people taught me to live for society: PM
“I neglected nothing in the service of the motherland because of the values and education I received here. The people of Gujarat taught me to live for society,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Modi addresses cooperatives in Gujarat
Later on Saturday at the Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar, Modi will also address the “Sahakar Se Samriddhi” conference of leaders of several cooperative institutions.
According to an official statement, more than 7,000 delegates from various state cooperative institutions will attend the event.
It will also launch a nano-urea (liquid) plant built at IFFCO, Kalo, to improve the productivity of farmers.
Why are cooperatives important?
The Patidar community also wields considerable power in co-operatives, which are largely jointly owned enterprises in which members share profits or proceeds.
According to reports, at least a third of Gujarat’s eligible voters are directly or indirectly linked to the estimated 84,000 cooperatives in Gujarat, which cover sectors such as dairy and livestock, agriculture, fisheries, consumerism, irrigation and cooperative banks.