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Bhagwant Mann’s Viramgam roadshow cancelled after district admin denies permission

Earlier in the day, Mann held three roadshows in Surendranagar and Botad districts—due for voting in the first phase of the upcoming Assembly elections on Thursday.

Mann also showed free electricity bills, which he claimed were from 25,000 households in Punjab, to the Limbdi voters. (File)

Punjab Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) senior leader Bhagwant Mann’s roadshow at Viramgam in Ahmedabad was cancelled Tuesday after the local administration denied him permission.

“Mann’s roadshow got cancelled as the sub-divisional magistrate did not give permission for it,” Amarsinh Thakor, AAP candidate from Viramgam, told The Indian Express.

Congress MLA Lakha Bharwad is the sitting MLA from Viramgam. The Congress has fielded him yet again, while the BJP has given a ticket to Hardik Patel, who resigned as the Gujarat Congress working president to join the saffron party. Viramgam, where the polling is scheduled on December 5, had backed the Congress in the past two elections.

Earlier in the day, Mann held three roadshows in Surendranagar and Botad districts—due for voting in the first phase of the upcoming Assembly elections on Thursday.

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At his roadshow in Surendranagar’s Limbdi, Mann said, “Gujarat ‘dabav ki rajneeti’ mein jee raha tha…ab “badlav ki rajneeti” chahta hai (Gujarat was living in the “politics of pressure”. Now it wants the “politics of change”. It has been 27 years, even trees change their leaves every year… ‘Gujarat-walon’ should at least change the governenment now.”

Mann also showed free electricity bills, which he claimed were from 25,000 households in Punjab, to the Limbdi voters. ” We do not just talk, we do it and show. In Punjab, we had said that from July 1 the electricity will be free. The opposition did not believe us. But we did. Out of 74 lakh homes, 64 lakh households have got zero bills.”

Limbdi MLA Kirtisinh Rana is the Cabinet Minister for Environment, Forest, Climate Change, Printing and Stationery in the Bhupendra Patel government. The BJP has fielded Rana from the seat.

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In 2017, Congress candidate Soma Koli Patel won against Rana. However, Patel resigned as an MLA in March 2020 in the run-up to the Rajya Sabha elections for the four seats in the state. Subsequently, the Congress suspended him and Rana became an MLA in the 2020 bypolls.

This is for the ninth time that the BJP has fielded Rana from the Limbdi constituency. He had won from Limbdi in 1995, 1998, 2007 and 2013 but had lost in 2002, 2012 and 2017.

The seat had been swinging between the two candidates for almost three terms. This time, the Congress has fielded Kalpana Makwana.

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The Punjab Chief Minister also held a roadshow in Botad—a BJP stronghold since 1998. BJP’s Saurabh Patel, who won against Congress’s Dhirajlal Kalathiya by a thin margin of 0.52 per cent votes in the 2017 assembly election, is the sitting MLA of Botad.

Mann also held a roadshow in Surendranagar’s Wadhwan—a seat reserved for the Scheduled Tribe. It also has been a BJP stronghold since 2002 and is held by MLA Dhanji Patel.

The Punjab leader was scheduled to hold a rally in the Dasada assembly seat in the same district. However, Mann could not reach the constituency before the “silence period”—the 48-hour buffer period mandated before the polling day.

Voting will take place in the constituency on December 1. Dasada is an SC reserved seat held by Congress MLA Naushad Solanki since 2017. Solanki has been fielded again from the seat this time.

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 22:10 IST
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