Leaders of both parties attend mega meet at Khodaldham.
Leaders from both the ruling BJP and Congress on Tuesday turned up for maha aarti at Khodaldham in Rajkot,the seat of community deity of politically influential Leuva Patels.
The function that saw a huge turnout of Leuva Patels was attended,among others,by states Revenue Minister Anandi Patel,state BJP chief Ranchoddas Faldu and Congress MP from Porbandar Vitthal Radadiya.
However,it was Rajkot-based industrialist Naresh Patel who as the promoter of Khodaldham Trust held the centre stage.
Patel,who was the only speaker,maintained the trust was totally apolitical. Finally,the Leuvas have united. But this is just a beginning. We have to go a long way, he said.
The foundation ceremony for the deity temple was held in January this year and was attended by lakhs of Leuva Patels,among them former chief minister Keshubhai Patel,who is the tallest political leader from the community.
Though the function in January had set off speculation that Leuva Patels could be gearing up against the Narendra Modi government,todays congregation attended by political leaders from both the major parties in the state showed that the 1.5 crore-strong community may be holding its cards close to its chest.
It was in Januarys congregation that Keshubhai had made clear he wanted to oust Modi.
While Anandi Patel did not respond to queries from the media,Faldu just said it was a religious programme.
Porbandar MP shows up,says is seeking bail
Congress MP from Porbandar Vitthal Radadiya,who was not seen in public since he was caught on camera threatening staff at a toll plaza with a shotgun,attended the maha aarti progamme.
I have not committed rape or murder or any such crime. I am seeking anticipatory bail, he said.
Reacting to Modis comment that Congressmen had left Radadiya to defend himself,the MP said: Why should Congress defend me? It was not required.
Radadiyas bail plea in a Vadodara court will be heard on Wednesday. Vadodara SP Sandeep Singh said the police would oppose his bail plea.
Patels take out rallies in Surat too
Thousands belonging to the Leuva Patel community took out rallies on Tuesday from four different places in Surat under the banner of Khodal Dham Samithi in a show of unity ahead of Assembly polls in the state.
The rallies were taken out from places like Yogi Chowk at Punagam,followed by Gajera circlet at Amroli,Lalita Chowkdi at Katargam and Udhna Harinagar. The processions ended at Khodal Mata Temple at Lal Darwaja in Surat in the evening. Many diamond and textile businessmen belonging to the community remained present in the temple during Maha Aarti programme organised by Samithi.
Samithi member Ritesh Sawani said,Our motive is to bring together all our Leuva community people under one roof. The function is completely non-political and we dont want to mix politics with the religious function.