Ahmedabad, Dec 19 The BJP is contemplating early Gujarat assembly polls to cash in on the recent demonetisation decision, as it believes people perceive the move as a big-ticket initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi against black money.
The elections are due in December next year, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is said to be considering advancing the dates by at least six months, party sources said. Discussions are in progress among top BJP and RSS leaders, they added.
Frequent visits of the Prime Minister to Gujarat -- he has come five times in recent months -- as well as that of national party President Amit Shah, have given strength to the speculations of early polls which were already going on for some time. In all, Modi has visited Gujarat eight times since he become Prime Minister.
Shah is at present in Ahmedabad holding "chintan baithaks" (strategy meetings) with state party seniors since Sunday, while Modi will be in the state capital Gandhinagar to inaugurate the much-hyped Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Meet starting January 10. Meanwhile, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat is camping in Gujarat, heading a four-day "pracharak meeting" and is believed to be focusing on the tribal belt of the state.
"We believe the general mood among the people in the state is strongly in favour of Narendrabhai despite all the difficulties caused by demonetisation. They see a dedicated effort to curb black money and fight terrorism," said a senior BJP leader. The leader, who is privy to the discussions within the party, says that with the passage of time, this mood may not last and "so it is better to go for early elections, along with that in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Goa".
Party leaders feel the Congress, which has been out of power for over two decades, has yet not been able to rustle up public opinion against demonetisation in Gujarat or to build up any local issue against the state government.