A day after Dehgam, an Assembly segment in Ahmedabad East constituency, observed bandh to protest the candidature of Paresh Rawal by the BJP as an outsider, the Mumbai-based actor flew down and began damage control by meeting workers and kick-started his campaign in the constituency.
Harin Pathak, seven-time Ahmedabad East MP, has a strong grip over the party workers. Therefore, 63-year-old Rawal, who is also a Padma Shri winner, sought help from the party workers to get a grip on the local politics. Rawal has also scheduled a meeting with BJP PM candidate and Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Pathak, miffed by Party’s denial to give him a ticket, was in Delhi on Tuesday to meet party president Rajnath Singh. The BJP leadership in Gujarat has, however, thrown its weight to prove that it is with Paresh Rawal. BJP Gujarat vice- presidents Kaushik Patel and I K Jadeja, Law Minister Pradeepsingh Jadeja, City Mayor Meenakshi Patel and MLA Bhushan Pandya were seen around Rawal.
Rawal, who had campaigned for Modi in 2012 Assembly elections and brought many Bollywood stars closer to Modi, drove straight from the airport to Padmavati temple in Naroda in his constituency and offered prayers.
Speaking in Gujarati with workers, he tried to remove the tag of an outsider. “I am not an outsider. I frequently visit Ahmedabad. My sister lives here. And I am from Paliyad. I will meet workers of Dehgam. Because without the support of party workers, there cannot be a leader,” said Rawal at the meeting.
Rawal said, “While my objective is to work for people, it is the responsibility of my constituency to make Modi the Prime Minister of India.” He further added, “Harin Pathak is like my elder brother. We will work together.”
From temple, Rawal left for Gandhinagar to meet Modi and later party workers in Vatva and Bapunagar.