After Keshubhai Patel’s defection from BJP, another rebel MLA from the party has decided to take on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi under the banner of his Sadbhavna Manch and will field five candidates in the forthcoming State assembly polls.
BJP legislator Kanu Kalsaria first rebelled against Modi by dragging the state government to Supreme Court, that too successfully, in opposing, now cancelled Nirma Cement plant in coastal Mahuva area of Bhavnagar, from where he is an elected MLA.
“Our successful movement against the cement plant to preserve the fragile ecology of the coastal area has earned us the goodwill in many areas where we have candid support,” said Dr. Kalsaria.
“To give a logical end to our fight against Modi government we have decided to focus only in five constituencies where we will field candidates,” he told PTI.
While the agitation against the cement plant was on its peak, Dr. Kalsaria, a doctor by profession, had formed a socio-political outfit named ‘Sadbhavna Manch’ and fielded candidates in elections of local bodies too.
“Much before Modi had embarked upon the so called ‘Sadbhavna Mission’ bandwagon our Manch had fought and won nine seats in Taluka Panchayats and two seats in district panchayats of Bhavnagar,” Dr. Kalsaria asserted.
This time he has decided to take his fight a step further and plans to contest assembly seats of Mahuva, Talaja, Rajula, Gariadhar and Savarkundla.
“Our movement was based in coastal areas in and around Mahuva and now we will fight our first assembly battle against Modi government in coastal belt too,” he said.
During the movement against the cement plant, Dr. Kalsaria also undertook an awareness yatra in coastal belt areas from Bhal to Dholera, Dhandhuka and in Kutch and Jamnagar.
“Though we have large support base in those areas too we don’t want to misdirect our energy. Hence, we have decided to fight only on five seats. But we are ready to lend our support to any like minded party or candidate who are fighting against BJP,” Dr. Kalsaria said.
In August this year, Mr. Keshubhai Patel left BJP and formed his own party called Gujarat Parivartan Party and has decided to contest on all the 182 assembly seats in the polls scheduled to be held on December 13 and 17.
Even though Dr. Kalsaria has time and again rebelled openly against the state BJP, Mr. Modi has till date never took any disciplinary action against him. He had also voted in favour of Congress nominee Pranab Mukherjee in the presidential elections.
“Time has long gone for the party to take any action against me. Now in this election, I am not going to file my candidature under BJP,” he said.
He charged the BJP government with hurting people’s welfare by adopting policies which favours industrialists and people with money.
“The damage this government has done cannot be repaired by anyone. I will consider every one else as lesser evil, but will try my best to see that BJP or Modi don’t get a chance to form a new government,” he said.
He alleged that in Gujarat BJP government has created more distance between ‘have and have nots.’
“Though for this, policies of Congress are also responsible but as Modi is endorsing and adopting similar policies at the state level there is not much difference between Manmohan Singh and Modi,” he added.
On the outcome of the Assembly polls he said, “People of Gujarat are wise and they know everything. The way anti—BJP and anti—Modi under current was responsible for Mansa assembly by—poll defeat, a similar under—current can be seen through out the state for this assembly election.”
“I strongly believe in people’s wisdom and have confidence that they will take the best call,” he asserted.