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Amid hectic political activities ahead of the Assembly elections in the state, Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Kanu Kalsariya met Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and sought his party’s support to contest as an Independent candidate from Mahuva constituency of Bhavnagar in Saurashtra. The development has evoked a lot of interest among political circles even as the Gujarat unit of AAP has informed its high command in Delhi about the development and has sought possible action against the former MLA.
Rahul, who is on a three-day visit to Gujarat as part of his Navsarjan Yatra, met Kalsariya for about 30 minutes in his vehicle on Monday. “Yes, I met Rahul Gandhi on Monday in his car. I have sought Congress’s support in terms of not fielding their candidate for Mahuva constituency from where I am planning to contest the election. And in turn, I have assured him that I will not contest the election under the banner of AAP, but as an Independent candidate,” Kalsariya told The Indian Express.
Asked about AAPs’ reaction to this, Kalsariya said he had made the proposal to the Congress vice-president after “consulting with AAP leaders”. “It is very clear that AAP is not going to contest the election on all the seats or that it is going to form the government. The main rival is BJP and we need to defeat it. And therefore I have put forward this proposal to the Congress. Rahulji has asked me to consider the proposal with an assurance to come back to me in some time,” he said.
Kalsariya is the most known face of the AAP in Gujarat. And when AAP was not sure of contesting the Assembly elections, Kalsariya had declared that he will contest the election as an Independent from Mahuva. Kalsariya rose to limelight when as a BJP NMLA he led a protest against a proposed cement plant of Nirma in his constituency Mahuva which was sanctioned by his own government. Eventually, Kalsariya left BJP and had fought as an Independent candidate from Gariadhar constituency of Saurashtra in 2012. He, however, lost to the BJP candidate.
When contacted to comment on Kalsariya’s meeting with Rahul, AAP spokesperson Harshil Nayak said, “Yes, I have come to know about it. And I have informed the central leadership (of the party) about the same. Now, whatever decision is to be taken in the matter, it will be taken by them.”