BJP national president Amit Shah, who is contesting from Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency for the first time, on Sunday, concluded his campaigning after holding a roadshow in Sanand town. This was Shah’s fourth roadshow in Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency since March 30 when he filed his nomination after holding a public meeting in Naranpura area of Ahmedabad.
On Sunday, Shah began his roadshow in a specially-designed open-hood vehicle from Sanand APMC Market and then passed through areas like Sanyas Ashram road, Moti Galvad, Sanand Taluka Panchayat, Juni Patelwadi, Dr B R Ambedkar statue near ST Bus Stand, Nalsarovar Road, Jain Vadi before concluding at Gadhiya Crossroads. Throughout the roadshow, Shah was accompanied by senior cabinet ministers in the Gujarat government — Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Kunvarji Bavaliya.
State BJP president Jitu Vaghani was also in attendance.
With Sanand assembly segment having maximum Koli voters, local MLA Kanu Patel and Bavaliya —both Koli leaders were present to greet Shah. Bavaliya had last year quit the Congress to join the BJP.
During the roadshow, people greeted Shah with shower of rose petals. Shah was also seen reciprocated them in a similar manner.
After concluding his roadshow in Sanand, Shah informally interacted with mediapersons at his Central Election Office on the SG Highway near Rajpath Club.
Earlier in the day, Shah held conducted closed door meetings with the chairpersons and secretaries of various housing societies in Ghatlodia, Thaltej, Bodakdev, Vejalpur and Sarkhej wards of Ahmedabad municipal corporation that fall under Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.
A top BJP leader said that Gandhinanagar is a party stronghold, but Shah had spared time for roadshows and closed-door meetings with locals to strike a personal chord with the voters and to ensure maximum voting that eventually may reflect in the margin of the victory of the winning candidate. The leader indicated that BJP strategists for Gandhinagar seat were concerned about amount of voting due to heat condition.
A total 17 candidates are in the fray for Gandhinagar constituency. The Congress has fielded its two-time sitting MLA and former deputy collector C J Chavda to take on Shah.
Among the 17 contestants are Valjibhai Rathod from Thangadh of Surendranagar district and Firoz Pathan, a resident of Juhapura. Rathod is father of one of the three youths who were killed in police firing in Thangadh in 2011. Whereas, Pathan is a close relative of some of the 69 persons who were killed in the 2002 Gulberg Society massacre case. Both are fighting the election to voice their sense of injustice.
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Dalits protest Shah roadshow for ‘ignoring’ Ambedkar statue
Dalits in Sanand protested after Shah reportedly did not garland a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar which fell on his roadshow route. Taking objection to this, local Dalits registered their protest by shouting slogans. They later garlanded the statue of Ambedkar through a senior citizen. Mahesh Bauddh, from Goraj village near Sanand, who runs a computer class near the statue said, “The roadshow passed by the statue, but Amit Shah did not garland it. So, we belonging to the Scheduled Caste protested against it. It is not acceptable that president of a national party passes by the statue during his roadshow and does not respect it (by garlanding). We also got the respect of Dr Ambedkar restored by getting the statue garlanded by a senior citizen.”