Indicating that the Gujarat Assembly elections would be completed by November-end, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Gujarat president CR Paatil on Monday warned party workers against “groupism” and said they “have no right” to question or challenge the decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in deciding the list of candidates.
Addressing a gathering of page committee members of the party in Anand, where he also inaugurated the district Kamalam office, Paatil said that party workers “should not come to Gandhinagar” to make representations for aspiring candidates.
“I feel that the (Gujarat) elections will be completed by the end of November. In 2012 and 2017, the elections were held from December 5. But this time, they may be advanced by about 10-12 days is what I feel. No one has told me this and I haven’t spoken to anyone… The media will say I declared the election dates but I don’t have that power.”
Paatil further urged the page committee leaders to visit their members for tea in order to build a rapport. Paatil said, “We will have Diwali festival in between… don’t slack… No matter what, go and visit the homes of one of your five-page members and have tea with them. It is my request to not go in big groups of 25 to burden families… Please visit only in twos… We have seen the power of the page committees. We have won local body polls on your strength… In fact, in the past two years, we have won every single election in the state.”
Adding that the BJP recently won 318 of 360 institutional and cooperative elections, Paatil said, “We have been on a winning streak… BJP workers have taken up the responsibility of running all sugar factories, district cooperative banks, APMC, agriculture banks, and all but one milk dairy in the state — only your (Kaira district cooperative) dairy is not yet with BJP. This is a blemish on us. When the next election comes, we have to wipe out this blemish.”
Stressing that anyone who wins an election cannot contest elections in cooperative sectors, Paatil said, “We have ended the practice of having double posts. We have decided one leader, one post. One family, one post… All you have to do is to win the page. We have to win by a margin of more than 50,000 votes.”
Warning the leaders against groupism ahead of the ticket distribution, Paatil said, “Don’t worry about who gets the ticket… That will be decided by PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Even I don’t have the power to allot tickets. We will send the biodata of each of the aspiring leaders to Delhi. PM Modi and Amit Shah will decide based on the representations of all castes, capability, the importance of seats and so on… You do not have the right to ask why was someone given a ticket because that ultimate decision is with Modiji.”
Asking the leaders not to “beeline in Gandhinagar” with aspiring leaders of their choice, Patil said, “Another 100 will come with another leader after you and you both will look at each other as rivals… Please don’t try to come to Gandhinagar to seek tickets. It damages the organisation. We do not want groupism.”
The BJP president also praised the Anand unit of the party for having a surplus sum of Rs 20 lakh from the funds collected to build the new office building. “This office has to be used to win all seven seats in the districts… There is no other unit of the party that is as strong as Anand district… We have to create a record.”