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Watch: How Caste Equations Play a Role in Gujarat Polls

We caught up with Professor Gaurang Jani, a sociologist at Gujarat University, to discuss the upcoming elections.

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What are the implications of OBC leader Alpesh Thakor joining the Congress? How important is the role of caste equations in the upcoming Gujarat elections? Why must the Congress be wary of extending support to both the Patidars and the Thakors? Where does the BJP stand after two decades of governance?

The Quint caught up with Professor Gaurang Jani, a sociologist at the Gujarat University to understand the above questions better.

Professor Jani names two incidents in the recent past – the Una flogging, the Patidar agitation – and the BJP’s handling of the same, which he says has alienated a large number of people from both sections.

“Forty percent of Gujarat’s voters are from the OBC community. This is a large number of people who could be alienated by the BJP’s handling of the issue,” says Professor Jani.

He adds that the task before the BJP is repairing the damage inflicted upon the SC/ST and OBCs.

He also discusses the reasons behind the Patidar agitation and the emergence of their leader Hardik Patel.

Professor Jani on Alpesh Thakor

According to Jani, Thakor who had “sided with the Congress in the past”, has turned into an important caste leader over the last one year.

He explained that last year, around the same time as the Patidar reservation agitation, Thakor also started organising the OBCs, as the community is of the opinion that “reservation is their right”.

Responding to how Thakor joining the Congress will help the party, Jani said that the party has managed to establish a “fertile ground” to attract Thakor votes.

You can watch the full live here.

Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

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