After a mighty show by the Leuva Patels last month in Rajkot district,the Kadvas their arch rivals within the community are now all set to put up a massive show of strength to mark the 25th foundation anniversary of the temple of their deity,Maa Umiya,at Sidsar in Junagadh district.
If former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel had sent a signal during the Leuva meet at Kagvad in Rajkot that the community was still nursing the wound of his unceremonious exit to pave the way for Narendra Modi,the incumbent CM,though not a Kadva,will inaugurate the five-day Rajat Jayanti Mohotsav,starting February 9.
Some 25 lakh people will be part of the programme, said Rajni Patel,a member of the organising committee,adding,Modi will remain present on the first day.
While the Leuvas meet had seen participation by nearly 21 lakh people,the Kadvas are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that their programme is organised at an even bigger scale. Yoga guru Baba Ramdev will also remain present,they said.
The event will be organised over 255 acres,hosting grand agriculture and industrial fairs and a book exhibition. Besides,there will be 25 dinning halls and an amusement park.
Organisers said that nearly two lakh invitation cards have been distributed among the community members settled across Gujarat. A grand fund is expected to be raised by this community of farmers and industrialists over the five days.
The small but rich and close-knit sub-caste (population of nearly 30 lakh) has emerged as a politically influential community in the recent past in Gujarat.
Though they belong to the same caste Patel both Leuvas and Kadvas have a history of being loyal to their sub-caste when it comes to political battles. The latest example of this was seen during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections when the Leuvas rejected BJPs Kadva candidate Kiran Bhalodia,an educationist,and elected Congress Koli candidate Kunvarji Bavalia in Rajkot.