BJP MP from Porbandar and Saurashtra strongman Vitthal Radadiya on Thursday warned farmers of adverse consequences if they did not “forget caste and religious divisions” and vote in unison in the Lok Sabha elections.
“We are giving farm loans worth Rs 1,500 crore and helping you with a free hand. The way we have been supporting you.. I shall check every village, every booth and see what happens in which village (during the election). My friends, forget vada (divisions) and make sure that we do not create divisions within our own home… we want to give with one hand and take with the other,” Radadiya, the chairman of Rajkot District Cooperative (RDC) Bank, told a gathering of farmers at a resort near the city.
Radadiya said the RDC Bank never sought files from member village cooperative societies and left it to the local office-bearers to decide on farm loans and insurance premium.
“We have the financial aspect with us. Members of cooperatives, their chairmen and secretaries should ensure 70 per cent voting. Make no mistake or else I shall have to seek files.
So, vote for the BJP candidate Mohan Kundariya and help him win,” Radadiya said.
The Leuva Patel strongman is seeking re-lection from Porbandar Lok Sabha seat. But he was in Kuwadva to campaign for Kundariya, the BJP candidate for Rajkot seat. It was he who had called the convention-cum-feast for the cooperative societies like that of Rajkot district.
BJP has been hard-selling Radadiya in Rajkot to assuage discontent among Leuva Patels after the party allocated ticket to Kundariya, a Kadva Patel.
The Leuvas dominate the Rajkot Lok Sabha seat, but local Leuva Patel leaders have been upset over the selection of the candidate.
Radadiya’s warning was in reference to these divisive forces. Besides being the RDC Bank chairman, he also holds sway over the Rajkot Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee and Rajkot District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited or Rajkot Dairy.
Kundariya, the sitting MLA from Tankara in Morbi district, said he would be ready to serve under the leadership of Radadiya. He is pitted against sitting Congress MP Kunvarji Bavaliya.
Radadiya, who was a Congress MP from the same seat until last year before he switched over to the BJP, said that if the BJP was voted to power in the General Election, he would help Saurashtra farmers get insurance for 100 per cent crop failure for the year 2012-13. After poor monsoon, farmers here got an average of only 50 per cent damage for their crops.