February 11, 2014 4:10:03 am
Former deputy prime minister and BJP patriarch Lal Krishna Advani’s office will remain in the old premises in Khanpur area of old Ahmedabad and not in the new headquarters in Gandhinagar. Advani currently represents the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency. Advani and Modi shared the stage at the inauguration of the party’s new headquarters on Monday where Modi thanked his mentor twice for making it to the ceremony in spite of Parliament being in session. Advani was given no space in the 11,000-square metre new headquarters and his personal assistant will continue to sit in the old office in Khanpur, which is no longer part of his constituency. Khanpur used to be a part of Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency before delimitation.
All the 14 cells of the party — including women, youth wing, SC/ST and IT — which so far functioned from 30-year-old Khanpur office, have now got special chambers on the second and third floors of the three-storey Shri Kamalam. It also has separate chambers for president, vice-presidents and general secretaries, along with a conference room and an auditorium. “The only office that has not shifted from Khanpur to Koba is that of Advaniji,” a senior party leader said.
When contacted, Advani’s personal assistant at Ahmedabad office, Shrinath Shah, confirmed, “We will continue to operate from Khanpur office.” Sources maintained that Advani’s official work related to his constituency and Gujarat is being done from this office ever since he contested from Gandhinagar in 1991 as many parts of Ahmedabad falls under his constituency. While Khanpur used to be a part of Gandhinagar constituency, post delimitation in 2009, it is now a part of Ahmedabad West constituency and Koba is part of Ahmedabad East. BJP Gujarat president Ranchoddas Faldu did not respond to our calls for his comment.
The new Wi-Fi enabled office is the brainchild of Modi, who wanted to add more facilities to the party’s main office, given the progress of the party in Gujarat. Off Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway, its location has been considered very strategic as it is directly connected to all the regions of state, including north, south and Saurashtra, through highways. It is near and well connected to airport as well. While Modi, whose office and residence is in Gandhinagar, can reach here in few minutes, leaders and workers from across the state no longer have to wade through heavy traffic of Ahmedabad city to reach the old office in Khanpur, a busy and bustling area in the heart of the city.
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