Dahod set for keen contest

Published on Apr 17, 2004 08:21 PM IST

The stage is set for a keenly contested poll fuelled by quitting of 7-time Cong MP Somji Damor to join a less prominent party recently.

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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Dahod

Lack of fanfare in the schedule tribe dominated Dahod constituency in east Gujarat cannot be perceived as slack in poll preparations as the stage is set for a keenly contested election fuelled by the quitting of seven-time Congress MP Somji Damor to join a less prominent one recently.

Dahod, nearly 200 km from Ahmedabad, has over 12 lakh electorates who would exercise their franchise in 1157 polling stations on April 20. There are seven assembly segments within Dahod Parliamentary seat where 98 per cent are tribals, 50,000 Muslims (mainly Bohra community) and 2 per cent Patels

Damor's sudden loss to sitting BJP MP Babubhai Katara in 1999 by just 12,431 votes was a setback for Congress, that dominated the region for several years, but it was the thumping victory that the Saffron party got in 2002 Assembly polls that gave the party a firm grip over the entire region.

Apart from being irked at Congress for not giving a veteran leader like him an election ticket, Damor says he was infuriated with the party high command for conceeding to demand of Leader of Opposition Amarsinh Chaudhary who wanted Dr Prabhaben Taviad, a fresher and native of Sabarkanha district, to contest "due to personal favours".

Damor, who joined Bhartiya Navshakti Party along with a host of other rebels from Congress is confident of "cutting" the adivasi and Muslim votes, even if at the cost of his other arch rival BJP winning.

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