ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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GUJARAT-Paradoxes of Populism

GUJARAT Paradoxes of Populism Achyut Yagnik THE present battle royal between the two bosses of Gujarat Congress (I), Madhavsinh Solanki, the chief minister, and Zinabhai Darji, the Executive Chairman of the 20-Point Programme Implementation Committee, which started in the first week of August 1983 will decide, in the end, not only the political future of these bosses but the future character and culture of Congress (I) in Gujarat The immediate result might be a reshuffle of the cabinet and/or a changing of the guard at GPCC(I), but as Solanki and Darji are both aiming at the next election, the winner will decide the caste-class composition of the Congress (I) candidates and in the process will redefine or readjust the social base of the party. Since 1980, the power struggle in Gujarat Congress (I) has taken dramatic twists and turns with leaders rapidly changing places. During the last general election there were three established bosses in Gujarat Congress (I): Ratubhai Adani from Saurash- tra, Zinabhai Darji from South Gujarat and Madhavsinh Solanki from Central Gujarat. Each of them had been at one time GPCC(I) president and belongs to a common political clan, that of Morarji Desai. They divided amongst themselves not only the respective areas of their operation but also their quota of candidates for the 1980 election. Additionally, there was another small group, that of the ex- PSP members led by Sanat Mehta. the present finance minister and No 2 in the cabinet, the Harijan leader, Nar- sinh Makwana, MP, and Sarvodaya leader Harivallabh Parikh. These three were associated with Darji since 1975 and were close to him within Congress (I).

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