The Hindu

Parties kick off campaign for Gujarat local polls

Congress smells a chance to wrest power from the BJP after the Patidar agitation

- SPECIAL CORRESPOND­ENT

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel launched the BJP campaign for the local body polls involving over 300 local self government institutio­ns for which polling will be held in two phase: November 22 and 29.

On Saturday, Ms. Patel held a political rally in Vadodara where the municipal corporatio­n and district panchayats are going for the polls.

“To continue the developmen­t journey started by Narendra Modi, who is now the Prime Minister, the people of Gujarat will again vote for the BJP in the municipal and panchayats polls,” she said, expressing confidence that the saffron party, which rules the local institutio­ns as well as the state, will return to power once again.

In next three days, Ms. Patel, will be crisscross­ing the State campaignin­g for the polls, which are seen as an acid test for her and results will reflect her popularity.

“Under the leadership of Anandiben Patel, we are fighting the polls and people of the state are with us,” said Gujarat BJP sokesperso­n IK Jadeja, who dismissed the talks that the BJP was likely to suffer electoral reverses in rural areas.

For Ms. Patel, the biggest challenge has come from her own community, Patidars, who have been on war path with the state government demanding OBC status and quota benefits for their children in education and government jobs.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress has also launched an intensifie­d campaignin­g, smelling a chance to wrest power from the BJP in district and block panchayats after the Patidar agitation.

“The people of Gujarat have now realised that the propaganda of the BJP is far fetched and ground reality is different and public’s anger will be reflected in the local body elections,” said Bharatsinh Solanki, Gujarat Congress president.

 ??  ?? BJP workers at an election meeting for the Gujarat local body polls in Ahmedabad.
BJP workers at an election meeting for the Gujarat local body polls in Ahmedabad.

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