The BJP’s reconfiguration of the old caste mosaic, drawing smaller groups with the promise of samman and fitting them into its Hindutva-driven base, had been central to the decimation of the SP, BSP and Congress in the Assembly elections, with all the three parties tumbling to their lowest ever numbers.
By drawing attention to electorates like this, parties as contrasting as the BJP and RJD did not realise how close they were to making a case for separate electorates — a controversial and long-discarded idea from colonial India, which was always eager to sharpen the cleavages in Indian society.
Justice Patnaik, who retired from the Supreme Court in 2014, was nominated Thursday by a three-judge bench of the apex court headed by Justice Arun Mishra, to inquire into allegations of a conspiracy levelled by advocate Utsav Bains in his two affidavits.
Politically, Porbandar is a long-held BJP seat. Over the last four years, however, there has been ferment here. The Patidar agitation which started in 2015 and shook Gujarat, still has its imprint here.
Eastern UP is central to BJP themes with the politics around Ayodhya, the religious significance of sites such as Varanasi, as well as the seat of PM Modi and the home turf of CM Yogi. For the Congress, it presents a challenge as well as an opportunity to reclaim a legacy.