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Gujarat election results: From 2017 to 2022, how trio- ‘Hardik, Alpesh, Jignesh’ changed their political game

Gujarat election results: Trio- ‘Hardik, Alpesh, Jignesh’ is now on different political paths, and unilike 2016, now they are totally different representing different schools of ideology. And they impacted Congress' electoral fortune then and now as well.

Raju Kumar Written By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: December 08, 2022 20:46 IST
The trio is no more together
Image Source : PTI/FILE The trio is no more together

6 years ago just ahead of the Gujarat Assembly election 2017, a trio emerged as a dominant political force against the then BJP government led by Anandiben Patel in the state. The trio, popularly known as “HAJ” comprised of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani. They led the ‘Patidar reservation agitation’ which created huge trouble against then BJP government. Later, their political strength proved as they lent their support to Congress. Subsequently, Congress did well by winning 77 seats with 41 per cent vote share in 2017 Gujarat Assembly election. 

But, Congress failed to keep the trio with their camp, however, Mevani is still with the grand old party. The issue of social justice, brought to fore to counter BJP’s ‘Hindutva’, the trio themselves subverted it in the last five years. Subsequently, BJP recived the biggest victory in the history of Gujarat election by bagging 156 seats out of 182 and on the contrary, Congress saw an embarrassing lowest tally in the state reducing to 17 seats. 

The absence of the trio which was a strong force against BJP benefited the ruling party and hurt Congress' prospects. The biggest dent in Congress vote share was made by Hardik Patel, who joined BJP ahead of the assembly election alleging he was not allowed to exercise his power as Gujarat Congress president. If a state unit’s top post holder joins the rival camp, surely it would make big damage. 

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Alpesh Thakor
Alpesh Thakor who also joined BJP came into the limelight in the last assembly polls as the convener of the Gujarat Kshatriya Thakor Sena and the OBC-SC-ST Ekta Manch and won his first election from Radhanpur as a Congress candidate. In 2019, he resigned from the Congress and the Assembly to join the BJP. However, he lost the subsequent assembly bypoll. This time, he contested the Assembly polls from Gandhinagar South, a seat with a sizeable Thakor population and won. 

Jignesh Mevani
Out of three, only Mevani is with the grand old party. Mevani who contested 2022 Gujarat assembly election from Vadgam defeated BJP's Manibhai Vaghela in a close battle. In the last election, Mevani won the seat as an independent candidate in the 2017 assembly election. 

Hardik Patel
Patel joined Congress in 2020 and became chief of state unit. Despite holding a top post in the party in Gujarat, he failed to play a long inning in the grand old party. Just ahead of assembly election 2022, he jumped ship and now he contested on BJP ticket from Virmagam assembly constituency and won.

So, all three will be seen in the Gujarat Assembly but in two Vs one equation. Mevani will represent Congress’ ideology, while Thakor and Patel BJP’s. 

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