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Saurashtra set for Narendra Modi,Keshubhai face-off

Narendra Modi and his bete noire Keshubhai Patel will visit Junagadh this Sunday.

Written by Hiral Dave | Rojkat | Published: May 3, 2012 5:18:43 am

CM,his predecessor to attend different functions in Junagadh district on May 6

Election fever is set to grip politically decisive Saurashtra when Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his bete noire Keshubhai Patel will visit Junagadh this Sunday to attend public functions.

Modi will kick start Krishi Mela for the region at Manavadar taluka while Leuva Patel community stalwart Keshubhai will preside over a mass marriage ceremony at Datrana village in Mendarda taluka,which will also be attended by a few Congress leaders.

The mass marriage function assumes political significance as the Leuvas — who still seem to be nursing the wound of unceremonious ouster of Keshubhai in 2001 to pave the way for Modi — are have launched a drive of community mobilisation ahead of the Assembly elections.

On May 6,while Modi is expected to highlight various agricultural schemes and packages announced by his government to woo farmers,who form a major part of the Leuva population, 60 km and couple of hours apart,Keshubhai will bless some 95 couples with Congress heavyweight and Porbandar MP Vithal Radadia and emerging Leuva Patel leader Naresh Patel,an industrialist from Rajkot city,by his side.

“For the first time Keshubhai,Naresh and Radadia will remain present (at the annual function),” said organiser Hasmukh Vaghasia. The annual event is expected to be attend by 30,000 Leuva Patels.

For Modi,Krishi Mela will be an important event to reach out to the farmers ahead of elections,considering that Kisan Hit Yata,which targeted UPA for its alleged anti-farmer policies,by state BJP chief R C Faldu evoked a lukewarm response in Saurashtra.

Since January,which saw gathering of nearly 25 lakh Leuva Patels in Kagvad of Rajkot district,frequent community gatherings by the Leuvas have created political ripples with leaders like Keshubhai repeatedly giving calls for “unity and fight against injustice to the Leuvas”.

On the other hand,Leuvas’ traditional rivals Kadva Patels seem to be sliding towards Modi.

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