The Valsad district youth Congress has sought action against newly appointed BJP state president C R Paatil for holding a party meeting in Pardi taluka of the district on Wednesday in a closed hall, where social distancing norms were allegedly violated.
Paatil held a similar meeting in Dangs also on Thursday. Pardi Taluka and Dangs are in constituencies of Kaprada and Dang respectively, which will go to bypolls after incumbent Congress MLAs joined BJP.
Paatil, who is BJP MP from Navsari seat, visited Valsad for the first time after his appointment and held a meeting with local BJP leaders in the auditorium of Pardi Nagar Palika in Valsad district, on Wednesday.
Photographs of the event show the auditorium fully packed with party leaders and workers. Former Congress MLA from Kaprada seat Jitu Chaudhary was also present.
On Thursday, the Valsad district youth Congress president Ronak Shah with other party leaders handed over a memorandum to district collector RR Raval claiming that social distancing norms were violated at the meeting and demanded strict actions against those who organised the event.
Senior Congress leader of Valsad district Gaurav Pandya said, “The BJP violated Covid-19 guidelines by organising the event in a closed hall where social distancing norms weren’t followed. We have urged the district collector of Valsad to take action against them.”
Reacting to the allegations, Valsad district Pardi taluka BJP president Mahesh Desai said, “After a long time a leader from South Gujarat has been given an important post in the party and people were very excited to welcome him. However, since a large number of people gathered, we finished the programme earlier.”
“The state BJP chief told the party workers to go and visit each and every house and meet the voters. They have also been asked to take down details of whether the voters had availed benefits of different national schemes. The state party chief also suggested that the party’s social media handle should be more active.”
Unlike Chaudhary, former Congress MLA Mangal Gavit was not invited to the Dang event held in T Dhimmer Hall in Swaraj Ashram at district headquarters Ahwa town on Thursday.
“I was expecting an invitation but did not get. I have put forward my desire to contest bypolls from Dangs seat for BJP, but now it is up to the party leaders to decide.”
Dang BJP leader and former MLA from the seat Vijay Patel said, “We were not told to invite Gavit. We have assured Paatil that whosoever the party selects for upcoming bypolls, the senior party leaders will work for them.”
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