The tussle between his wife and daughter-in-law public, Panchmahal’s BJP MP Prabhatshinh Chauhan wants to put that behind him. Chauhan, 77, had demanded the Kalol (Panchmahal) ticket for his wife Rangeshwari, 40, threatening to contest as an independent if denied. After the BJP nominated his daughter-in-law Suman, 52, he has been campaigning for her.
“There was conflict in the family until the ticket was announced, but once the party declared the candidate, our family has been together and started working to ensure victory for the BJP in Panchmahal,” Chauhan told a small crowd at Shamaldevi village.
Rangeshwari was campaigning in Halol constituency for BJP MLA Jaydrathshinh Parmar, who has been renominated. “I am president of Ghoghamba taluka panchayat and around 39 panchayats are in Halol constituency, which is why I am here,” she said.
Rangeshwari is Chauhan’s second wife; Suman is married to Pravinsinh, Prabhatsinh’s son with his deceased first wife.
Rangeshwari had shown her resentment after Suman was named candidate. On Facebook, she had challenged the MP to enter Kalol and campaign. She removed the post after district party leaders intervened.
Suman, in her first election, avoided long speeches and stopped at an appeal for votes. She visited Kanod, her home, and was felicitated by the villagers. “There should not be a single vote for the Congress from this village as it is a matter of pride and dignity of a daughter of this village,” party worker Kalpesh Panchal told the gathering.
Prabhatshinh arrived and interacted with villagers while Suman was to be felicitated. He discussed local issues and asked the villagers to submit these in writing. Most of the issues related to road construction and underground drainage.
At Pingala village, Pintu Solanki said, “We don’t have a connecting road to the cremation ground. During the monsoon, it becomes difficult to travel if there is a death in the village. Although we will vote for Sumanben, our demand is to make a road as early as possible.”
Sitting BJP MLA Arvindshinh Rathod, too, joined the campaign. Addressing villagers at Derol, he said, “In the last 20 years, the BJP government in Gujarat has build roads, houses, and provided tap water to villages in central Gujarat.”
Kalol has been a stronghold for the BJP for almost 30 years. Prabhatshinh, too, used to represent the seat.