As he took part in BJP’s latest door-to-door campaign in Rajkot distributing party pamphlets, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday began and ended his day-long drive by visiting temples in the city.
After arriving in Rajkot, Javadekar headed straight to Swaminarayan temple on Kalavad Road. The temple is run by Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan (BAPS) sect. Incidentally, the same sect also runs the Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently attended its silver jubilee celebrations.
After the temple visit, Javadekar distributed pamphlets among shopkeepers near Raiya Road and Airport Road, the posh areas which are part of Rajkot (West), the Assembly constituency of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. In the evening, Javadekar campaigned in the old city area, which is part of Rajkot (South) Assembly constituency, presently held by former minister Govind Patel of BJP.
Javadekar then offered prayers at Ashapura temple on Palace Road before he was welcomed by Mandhatasinh Jadeja, scion of the royal family of erstwhile Rajkot state, and other Kshatriya leaders. Representatives of Rajput and OBC communities also welcomed him. He also visited the cloth market in Gundawadi and distributed pamphlets among shoppers and shopkeepers.
Stopping at a footwear shop, Javadekar handed over a pamphlet to its owner Divya Vasani and asked for how many years she had been running the shop. “I have been running it for a year. Actually, I am from Jetpur town of Rajkot district my husband manages the shop most of the time. But I am a supporter of the BJP,” said Vasani, a teacher at a government village primary school in Jetpur.
Vasani confessed later that she didn’t know the politician who handed her the Modi pamphlet. After giving a pamphlet to Avnish Bundela, a dry cleaner, Javadekar asked for how many hours he gets electricity to press clothes. “Round the clock. When the power supply was irregular some years ago, I would use coal to heat my iron for pressing clothes,” responded Bundela.
At the last stop of his campaigning, Javadekar visited Madanmohan Prabhuji Haveli, a temple of Vaishnav sect in nearby Laskminagr area. Incidentally, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has been visiting temples while campaigning in Gujarat since late September.
At a press briefing, Javadekar called the Congress “anti-people”, and expressed confidence of BJP’s victory in the Assembly elections due next month. “BJP is very confident of winning the elections in Gujarat and it will register a massive victory on the basis of the work done by the government,” he said.
In a veiled attack on Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Javadekar said, “They are moving in a bus, while we are in the hearts of the people of Gujarat.” Hailing the decision of the GST Council to cut tax rates on 178 items, Javadekar said, “People have welcomed the changes in GST.”
(With PTI Inputs)