Inside BJP

Who is the real boss? Amit Shah’s meeting with Anandiben Patel leaves Gujarat BJP guessing

It’s apparently not Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah’s meeting with bête noire Anandiben Patel, former Gujarat chief minister, on October 1 was meant to send a message that the party’s state unit was united. But it seems to have achieved the opposite effect: it has left uncertain the fate of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, a confidant of Shah’s, and triggered a factious scramble for election tickets. Gujarat goes to Assembly polls later this year.

Central to this uncertainty is speculation that Anandiben Patel could be the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in the impending election; speculation that was given credence by senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday.

Ticket-seekers are understandably vexed: should they make their pitch with Shah or Anandiben Patel?

“It is for the party to decide who the CM candidate should be but Anandiben has a proven track record,” said Zankhana Patel, BJP legislator from Choryasi. “She is a very good administrator, and she is loved by people across the state. The party will gain if she is given this responsibility.”

Zankhana Patel, a loyalist of the former chief minister, is facing competition for the ticket from Raju Pathak, a fellow Surat-based BJP leader said to be backed by Shah. Pathak is chairman of the Surat District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union, popularly known as Sumul Dairy. His influence in the BJP can be gauged from the fact that last April he brought no less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate Sumul Dairy’s cattle feed and ice-cream plant at Bajipura in Tapi district.

“The party has to decide who will contest from Choryasi,” Pathak said. “I will contest if the party so decides. If the party gives me some other responsibility, I have no problem with that either.”

Zankhana Patel countered but without naming Pathak: “Attempts are being made to create confusion in Choryasi. People are largely with the BJP in my constituency but they will leave us if the party fields someone who is not a resident of Choryasi.”

Pathak is a resident of the neighbouring Mangrol subdivision of Surat district.

Choryasi is one of a large number of constituencies where the BJP has two ticket aspirants, one loyal to Shah, the other to Anandiben Patel.

“This is a problem on almost four dozen seats currently with the party,” said a senior BJP leader who asked not to be named. “In all these places, the infighting is becoming unmanageable. Earlier Amitbhai was seen as the sole authority, but his meeting with Anandiben has created a new power centre since it is believed that she will now play a major role in the selection of candidates. If this leadership issue is not resolved quickly, the infighting might affect the party’s performance in the election.”

If Anandiben Patel were to really gain greater power in the Gujarat BJP, it would likely be at the expense of Rupani. The party anyway never considered going to the voters with Rupani’s record as chief minister since 2016, so the coming together of Shah and Anandiben Patel could marginalise him even further.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Bringing your parents into the digital fold can be a rewarding experience

Contrary to popular sentiment, being the tech support for your parents might be a great use of your time and theirs.

If you look up ‘Parents vs technology’, you’ll be showered with a barrage of hilariously adorable and relatable memes. Half the hilarity of these memes sprouts from their familiarity as most of us have found ourselves in similar troubleshooting situations. Helping a parent understand and operate technology can be trying. However, as you sit, exasperated, deleting the gazillion empty folders that your mum has accidentally made, you might be losing out on an opportunity to enrich her life.

After the advent of technology in our everyday personal and work lives, parents have tried to embrace the brand-new ways to work and communicate with a bit of help from us, the digital natives. And while they successfully send Whatsapp messages and make video calls, a tremendous amount of unfulfilled potential has fallen through the presumptuous gap that lies between their ambition and our understanding of their technological needs.

When Priyanka Gothi’s mother retired after 35 years of being a teacher, Priyanka decided to create a first of its kind marketplace that would leverage the experience and potential of retirees by providing them with flexible job opportunities. Her Hong Kong based novel venture, Retired, Not Out is reimagining retirement by creating a channel through which the senior generation can continue to contribute to the society.

Our belief is that tech is highly learnable. And learning doesn’t stop when you graduate from school. That is why we have designed specific programmes for seniors to embrace technology to aid their personal and professional goals.

— Priyanka Gothi, Founder & CEO, Retired Not Out

Ideas like Retired Not Out promote inclusiveness and help instil confidence in a generation that has not grown up with technology. A positive change in our parent’s lives can be created if we flip the perspective on the time spent helping them operate a laptop and view it as an exercise in empowerment. For instance, by becoming proficient in Microsoft Excel, a senior with 25 years of experience in finance, could continue to work part time as a Finance Manager. Similarly, parents can run consultation blogs or augment their hobbies and continue to lead a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Advocating the same message, Lenovo’s new web-film captures the void that retirement creates in a person’s life, one that can be filled by, as Lenovo puts it, gifting them a future.

Play

Depending on the role technology plays, it can either leave the senior generation behind or it can enable them to lead an ambitious and productive life. This festive season, give this a thought as you spend time with family.

To make one of Lenovo’s laptops a part of the family, see here.

This article was produced on behalf of Lenovo by the Scroll.in marketing team and not by the Scroll.in editorial staff.