Harin Pathak, a seven-time member of Parliament from Ahmedabad, has been asked to take up campaign work for his mentor L K Advani who is fighting for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat.
The BJP high command also asked him to help campaign work in Vadodara and Varanasi constituency. Pathak, who was replaced by actor Paresh Rawal in Ahmedabad East seat, was reportedly facing embarrassment over campaigning for the candidate who has replaced him.
So, to avoid a situation where he would be canvassing for Rawal before his own loyal voters and party workers, the party leaders in Delhi have worked out the alternative plan for him which he could not refuse.
Pathak has already addressed a couple of public meetings in Kalol, Sanand and Gandhinagar while at the fourth venue in Vejalpur, his event was put off. He will be shuttling between Gandhinagar (constituency) and Vadodara till this month and then will move to Varanasi for Modi campaign.
“I have no choice of time or venue of meetings or other programmes. The party informs me of the next day’s events where I am required, a day before,” he said.
This is going to keep him busy throughout the campaign and it will not give him time to stay in Ahmedabad or interact with Rawal.
Asked if it did not look like he was being kept out of Ahmedabad deliberately to ensure a smooth campaign for Rawal, he said that he was to go by the mandate the party gave him. “Why Ahmedabad, the whole Gujarat is mine and I could go anywhere, but the party instructions have to be followed,” he said.
Are you happy with the way he was replaced by Rawal despite winning for a record seven times from Ahmedabad, and if he saw a connection between ticket denial and campaign assignments away from Ahmedabad, he said, “There is no connection between these two things. I will work as a party workers wherever and whenever asked to.”