The BJP leadership’s decision to field industrialist Dhanjibhai Patel from Wadhwan constituency in Surendranagar district has led to protests in the party’s district unit with former minister Ranjitsinh Jhala announcing his resignation from the party and alleging that the seat was “sold for Rs 9 crore”. The BJP has, however, rejected the charge, calling it “baseless”.
The nomination of Dhanjibhai Patel, a Kadva Patidar, has also upset the Jain community since the seat was held by Varshaben Doshi, a Jain. Now the Jains in the constituency have threatened to field a member of their community as an Independent candidate. “The Jain community has been staging protests against the nomination of Dhanjibhai at the BJP office since Saturday when during his event 200 Jains showed him black ribbons.
Today, at a meeting of over 3,000 Jains, we have decided to field our own Independent candidate, The name will be finalised in a day,” Rajeshbhai Shah, advisory committee member of Jai Jinendra Sewa Group, a Jain organisation in Wadhwan, said. Sensing the anger among the Jains, the BJP sent out a letter from the two-time MLA, Varshaben Doshi, urging “brothers and sisters of Wadhwan constituency” to accept the party’s decision and vote for Dhanjibhai Patel.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Doshi said, “The Jains are hurt since I hail from the same community. But I completely respect the decision of the party and have tried to make them understand to dissassociate the seat from any community or caste.” Doshi also said that she was not disappointed or hurt by the party’s decision. “The first one to call Dhanjibhai to congratulate him was me.I have nothing against the party… I do not have any personal motive. I am devoted to the party and I am determined to undertake responsibilities given to me by the party,” Varshaben wrote in her letter that was posted on social media.
But the party is facing dissent from one more faction. Supporters of BJP state vice president I K Jadeja, who has a strong presence in Wadhwan and Dhrangadhra constituencies of Saurashtra, gathered at the BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar and raised slogans against the party for ignoring Jadeja’s candidature. MLA’s supporters demand renomination
A day after some BJP workers protested at the party’s Vadodara office against Madhubhai Shrivastav, the sitting BJP MLA from Waghodia, his supporters held a demonstration on Sunday, demanding that Shrivastav be renominated from the seat. Shrivastav has been winning from the seat for the last two consecutive Assembly elections. His supporters said that they want Shrivastva as their MLA as he has worked for the people of the constituency.