Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are like a litmus test for Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party. One one hand, the anti-BJP forces have begun uniting and on the other, majority Indians believe that Modi failed in fulfilling most of the promises made by him in 2014. The only consolation that BJP is holding on to is that the upset voter base is yet to switch its loyalties to the Congress. The dwindling graph of the BJP has forced them to work harder to ensure that they remain in power. But BJP leaders believe that Modi will come out triumphant.

The situation in Modi and Amit Shah’s home ground Gujarat is such that after Modi’s victory in 2014, the party didn’t have a strong leader to maintain the grip it had in the state. At first, it was Anandiben Patel and then Vijay Rupani. Though the party succeeded in holding on to power in the 2017 assembly elections, the win was not something which could call for celebration. The party knows well that the results of 2017 elections are going to affect the party’s chances in 2019 polls. And Amit Shah and Modi don’t want the seat count from Gujarat in the Lok Sabha polls to decrease. They are wary of the fact that the opposition won’t waste time attacking them if the Gujarat Model fails.

After his 2014 win, Modi concentrated more in his Uttar Pradesh constituency Varanasi. He tried his best to change the face of Varanasi, which resulted in the demolition of several temples. This is something similar to what he had done to Gujarat’s Gandhinagar too. But the mindset of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh are starkly different. Residents of Gandhinagar didn’t bother when temples were razed, but leaders from Varanasi believe that demolishing temples here would cost Modi dearly and thus he should not contest the upcoming polls from Varanasi.

Modi has been contesting the assembly elections in Gujarat since 2001, and during those times, he has changed his constituency multiple times. This is Modi’s second Lok Sabha election, and senior national leaders too believe that Modi might contest his polls from some other seat but Varanasi. Modi might contest the elections from two seats, and one of them might be from Gujarat. If Modi contests from Gujarat, it would bring major changes to the state. And there is a fair possibility of him choosing Gandhinagar as his seat, where Lal Krishna Advani has been contesting so far.

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