Election-bound Gujarat is bubbling with sporting spirit of different kind. Call it Khel Mahakumbh with a difference. The Gujarat Parivartan Party has got a cricket bat as an election symbol. Party boss and Saurashtra strongman Keshubhai Patel, with bat in hand, hopes to repeat the feat of another Saurashtra-wonder Cheteshwar Pujara.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has skipped cricket for obvious reasons and opted instead for kabaddi. The party's commercial shows two teams: one in saffron T-shirts and the other in blue. The saffron team has a strong captain whereas the opposition is indecisive. There are five players and they all quarrel with one another when called for the toss. The ad hits directly at the infamous infighting in the Gujarat Congress.
What if the game was soccer -- and not kabaddi, one wonders. Probably there would be a lone player in saffron team donning all the hats: a goal keeper, a mid-fielder, a centre half, right winger and so on, reducing a team sport to personal show. There is one more spin to the kabaddi commercial of the BJP.
The way the BJP's drama of dissidence is unfolding at the top, the Congress can use the same kabaddi ad for 2014 elections, just by reversing the T-shirts.
Senior journalist Urvish Kothari will write blog-style reports on the Gujarat election.