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

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Traditional Loyalties Decide Party Affiliations

Traditional Loyalties Decide Party Affiliations THE decks are being cleared for the general elections in Gujarat. The electoral rolls have been published. The total number of voters has risen to about 11 million

THE decks are being cleared for the general elections in Gujarat. The electoral rolls have been published. The total number of voters has risen to about 11 million—an increase of 1.5 million over 1962. In 1962, only 53 per cent condescended to vote.

Just now the opposition parties are busy negotiating electoral alliances, as none of them, not excluding Swatantra, has a chance of approaching anywhere near a clear majority. All are, however, agreed that if they make a workable electoral arrangement the Congress could be defeated, Both party alignments and alienations in Gujarat seem to follow a discernible pattern. In the princely areas, which were relatively backward then but are now coming up (Saurashtra, Kutch, Sabarkantha Banaskantha and some of the erstwhile Mahikantha agencies), the Congress is riven with group differences at every level of the organisation. In the relatively developed areas (Kheda and parts of Baroda) the Congress and Swatantra confrontation is stronger than elsewhere in the State. In the region between Ahmedabad and Baroda (parts of the districts of Ahmedabad, Kheda and Baroda) where the traditional social group owning the tradecumindustrial capital was entrenched, there is emerging a new group of owners of industrial capital who have an agricultural background. Because of the differences in their backgrounds, these two groups are distributed between the Congress and the Swatantra.

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