Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani dares Hardik, Jignesh, Alpesh: let them fight elections

Rupani accused the Congress of facilitating the rise of these three leaders, pointing out that Hardik had been consistently “anti BJP” on Twitter.

Written by Parimal A Dabhi | Ahmedabad | Updated: October 1, 2017 7:42 am
vijay rupani, Gujarat CM, rupani, express adda, gujarat elections, gujarat polls, Jignesh Mevani, Hardik Patel, patidar agitation, indian express, gujarat news Vijay Rupani at the Express Adda on Friday. (Express Photo: Javed Raja)

Vijay Rupani, who took charge as Chief Minister of Gujarat last year as the Patidar agitation and a Dalit uprising in the aftermath of the Una flogging rocked the state, on Friday dared Hardik Patel of the Patidars, Jignesh Mevani of the Dalits and Alpesh Thakore of the OBCs to contest elections to get the real measure of their popularity.

To a question on how he viewed the emergence of Hardik, Alpesh and Jignesh, the Chief Minister, who was the guest at the Express Adda in Ahmedabad, said, “Are they going to form a political party and fight elections? Only when they do, if they do, will it be clear whose popularity is how much.”

Rupani accused the Congress of facilitating the rise of these three leaders, pointing out that Hardik had been consistently “anti BJP” on Twitter. “Till today, all of Hardik’s tweets are against the BJP. None against the Congress. Why? Is everything all right with the Congress?” the Chief Minister

Rupani spoke of his days spent in prisons in Bhavnagar and Bhuj during the Emergency. As a 19-year-old then, he would learn Russian, and read the writings of Svetlana, Josef Stalin’s daughter, he said. “One learnt of the value of liberty only in jail,” Rupani said.

The Chief Minister also spoke about his early days in Rangoon, where his father was a rice merchant, one among the several Gujaratis who had migrated to Burma.

Among the range of questions the Chief Minister took were those on issues of contemporary relevance, including inclusiveness, communal harmony, and the apprehensions among civil society that the space for public dissent was shrinking in Gujarat.

The event was attended by the who’s who of Ahmedabad, including economist Y K Alagh, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, Additional Advocate General Prakash Jani, historian and chairman of Gujarat Sahitya Akademi Vishnu Pandya, former judge Jyotsana Yagnik, chairperson of Gujarat State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Jagruti Pandya, academics Rita Kothari and Sanjay Bhave, MD of the Ahmedabad Metrorail project I P Gautam, chairperson ASSOCHAM (Gujarat) Bhagesh Soneji, MD of Vadilal Industries Ltd Rajesh Gandhi, cardiac surgeon Dr Dhiren Shah, cancer specialist Dr Kaustubh Patel, head of the Parsi Panchayat Ahmedabad Jehangir Anklesaria, and Director of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Arindam Das.

Rupani said he cannot be compared with the Prime Minister who, too, was Chief Minister of Gujarat. “You cannot hold out a lamp to the sun,” he said. “He (Narendra Modi) has charted a path of development (for Gujarat and India) and I am certainly capable of walking on that path,” Rupani said.

The BJP would win 150+ seats in the Assembly elections, the Chief Minister said, and spoke on the ongoing ‘Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe (Vikas has gone crazy)’ social media campaign, which pokes fun at the development plank of the BJP nationally.

“Narendrabhai has started this politics of development… We are happy that Congress is coming to the development issue… And we have given the slogan ‘Hu Gujarat Chhu, Hoon j Vikas Chhu. (I am Gujarat, I am development.)’,” Rupani said, adding, “Vikas has not gone mad, the people (Congress) doing all this have been driven crazy by our (BJP’s) development.”

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  1. A
    Oct 1, 2017 at 5:14 pm
    When Rupani wins again, you Dabhi a so-called "journalist" sit at home and polish shoes, sweep floors or cut hair. You are as such an old rusted furniture in Indian Express, so better idea is to clean your own rust. What pests in this newspaper since years. #SwacchIndianExpress 😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅
    1. A
      Oct 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm
      With high respects to you Hon CM of Gujrat if Hardik is allowed to contest election he will cause a huge damage to the BJP. Sir the Economy is at 5.7 which is actually 3.7 and I would request you to put in efforts to recover the Huge loss that the People have had as most business are shutting down. I request the BJP to do something Fast before it's to late.
      1. B
        Bharat Maa
        Oct 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm
        these Bhartiya Jumla Party has bluffed enough, now they know their days are couted and so try to devide votes.
        1. 2
          Oct 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm
          PM during demonetization : "I left my home and everything for the country. Whatever I have done, I have done with complete honesty and for the benefit of the people, I also feel the pain but bear it till December 30, 2016 to straighten things. After that, I'm ready to face any punishment meted out by the people in any square" - Now our H.Prime Minister is asking for time up to 2022. What should we do ??
          1. A
            Aam Admi
            Oct 1, 2017 at 1:45 pm
            Please give
            1. N
              No chance
              Oct 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm
              Sorry no chance. There is no term ending 2022. If so desperate to be in power, please contest for one of the ongoing muni lity elections after 2019 to be in power in at least one of the cons uencies.
              1. ले लो
                Oct 1, 2017 at 2:39 pm
                चल दे दिया
              2. J
                John Dsouza
                Oct 1, 2017 at 1:35 pm
                Rupani speaking of Congress is proof enough his party days are numbered in Gujarat, people of Gujarat are not stupid they know what is good for their state.
                1. C
                  Oct 1, 2017 at 3:27 pm
                  John you are absolutely right about people of Gujarat "they know what is good for their state" and that exactly is their worry. BJP,Congress, PAAS,Thakor Sena, Dalit Sena-BSP, NCP,AAP, JDU(Sharad) or latest entrance Jan Vikalp Morcha none of them is good for Gujarat, only real choice people have is NOTA . Election commission is introducing new Voting machines for Gujarat elections, EC should add one more option "President's Rule".
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