Other States

Bypolls: BJP, Congress intensify campaigning in Gujarat

Congress flag. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

For the BJP and the Congress in Gujarat, the bypolls for eight Assembly seats have become a prestige battle with both leaving no stone unturned to win the maximum number. Both parties have intensified campaigning like holding small rallies and meetings to organising group meetings and door-to-door canvassing besides digital campaigning on social media platforms.

The eight seats are Abdasa, Morbi, Dhari, Karjan and Limbadi while three reserved seats are Gadhada (SC) and Dangs and Kaprada (ST). All seats were held by the Congress legislators, who resigned ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls and six of them joined the saffron party.

The BJP has fielded five Congress defectors: Brijesh Merja from Morbi, JV Kakadia from Dhari, Akshay Patel from Karjan, Pradhyumansinh Jadeja from Abdasa and Jitu Chaudhary from Kaprada. The party has preferred its own leaders from three seats: Kiritsinh Rana from Limbadi, Atmaram Parmar from Gadhada and Vijay Patel from Dangs.

Both Mr. Rana and Mr. Parmar are ex-Ministers and had lost to the Congress in the last Assembly polls in 2017 while Mr. Vijay Patel is a former legislator of the party.

The Congress has on the other hand fielded new faces like Kiritsinh Jadeja from Karjan, Chatan Khachar from Limbadi and Suryakant Gavit from Dangs. In Dhari, the party has fielded Suresh Kotadia, son of former Union Minister Manubhai Kotadia.

The BJP is fighting the polls on the plank of development works of the Centre and the State governments. However, the ruling party appears to be facing the issue of ‘importing’ Congress leaders at the cost of developing the local party leaders.

The Opposition party’s campaign theme is “betrayal of mandate” by the turncoats. On Wednesday, State Congress Chief Amit Chavda charged the BJP with “purchasing Opposition members” using the money power of the state.

“People of the eight seats deserve to know how much money was paid by the BJP to each of their legislators,” Mr. Chavda asked.

He said the electorate would teach them a lesson in the bypolls. Gujarat’s Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel retorted saying “the BJP has proof about how much money the Congress had offered to lure the BJP MLAs in the State”.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 2:03:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/bypolls-bjp-congress-intensify-campaigning-in-gujarat/article32910341.ece

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