Modi’s rallies, Hardik’s road show mark hectic campaign Sunday in Gujarat

While BJP leaders held multiple rallies in the state, the day did not see any significant show by the opposition Congress

assembly elections Updated: Dec 04, 2017 07:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat Election 2017,Gujarat Assembly Election,Gujarat Election Campaign
A BJP supporter waers mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaign rally for the state assembly elections, in Surendranagar on Sunday. (PTI)

With barely a week to go for the first phase of the Gujarat assembly election, the key players on Sunday held multiple rallies and road shows.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed three rallies in Saurashtra and south Gujarat that together account for 89 seats going to the polls on December 9.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves on his arrival to address a political rally at Surendranagar on December 3, 2017. (AFP)

BJP chief Amit Shah focussed on Kutch, which also goes to the polls in the first phase. Hardik Patel led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti organised a 36 km road show covering four assembly constituencies in Surat city. And chief minister Vijay Rupani held a road show in Majura, again a seat in Surat city, the epicentre of the Patidar agitation for OBC quota in government jobs and college admissions. The Patidars are up in arms against the BJP government after having supported the party for the past 30 years.

The day, however, did not see any significant campaign by the main opposition Congress. But Rupani’s constituency saw much drama with his Congress rival levelling charges against the CM for using muscle power. Hardik’s show proved to be much bigger, both in terms of scale and response. Thousands of youngsters joined him on two-and fourwheeler as they passed through the lanes of Katargam and Varachha Road. It was a day-long show at the end of which Hardik addressed his supporters.

Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti convenor Hardik Patel meeting with his supporters during "Jankranti Maharally" in Surat on Sunday. (PTI)

BJP sources maintained that Rupani’s show was limited to one constituency and was planned only on Saturday. That was the reason why the response in comparison to Hardik’s rally appeared lukewarm. Rupani also came under attack in his Rajkot West seat after the Congress candidate Indranil Rajyaguru made allegations that the CM and his party have been using muscle power to win the election.

Rajyaguru made the allegation on Sunday, hours after he was released in the morning from overnight police custody. Rajyaguru was detained late on Saturday night when he reached Rupani’s Rajkot residence to protest against an attack on his brother Divyanil. ”The BJP has gone desperate and employing muscle power to win. The police action was biased too. The police had spread the word that I was drunk last night but they did not do my blood test,’’ said Rajyaguru, who is the richest candidate in the first phase.

“Instead of dharna, Rajyaguru went berserk outside CM’s home.He used derogatory terms for the CM. The police had detained him only after their efforts to calm him down failed,’’ said BJP leader Dhansukh Bhanderi.

First Published: Dec 04, 2017 07:33 IST