Latest Gujarat Breaking News & Headlines

BJP will never implement Uniform Civil Code in Gujarat: AAP
The Indian Express | 1 hour ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:50 am
The Indian Express
1 hour ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:50 am

The BJP will never implement a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on Saturday, dubbing the saffron party’s poll promise as “fake”.The reaction of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party came after the ruling BJP released its manifesto for the Gujarat polls, promising the implementation of a UCC in the state if it retains power.“The BJP has ruled Gujarat for 27 years. After remaining at the helm for more than two decades, it is still making promises,” the AAP’s co-incharge for Gujarat, Raghav Chadha, told reporters.“If it was indeed their intent, they would have implemented it much ago,” Chadha said, asking, “Why didn’t they implement it?” “It is a fake promise. The BJP will never implement it (UCC),” he added. On October 29, the Gujarat government announced that it would form a committee for the implementation of a UCC. Other BJP-ruled states, such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, have also promised to implement a UCC. Chadha said neither the BJP nor the Congress is talking about the real issues in the run-up to the Gujarat polls. The AAP is the only party that has come up with a “model for the economic uplift” of the people of Gujarat, he said.

BJP will never implement Uniform Civil Code in Gujarat: AAP
  • Gujarat Assembly Elections: BJP promises Uniform Civil Code, cell to spot ‘anti-India forces’
  • The Indian Express

    Days after the Gujarat government announced that it would form a committee for the implementation of UCC, the BJP on Saturday released its manifesto for the upcoming Assembly polls, which promises to “ensure complete implementation of the Gujarat Uniform Civil Code committee’s recommendations”, among others.The party has also promised to launch a ‘Gujarat Olympics Mission’ for hosting the Olympic Games in the state in 2036, provide 20 lakh jobs, keep a tab on the Waqf Board and madrasas, and said it will roll out “Pashu aadhaar cards” to monitor health and vaccination status of all livestock, among others.The creation of an “anti-radicalisation cell” to identify and “eliminate potential threats and sleeper cells of terrorist organisations and anti-India forces” was among the many promises made by BJP president J P Nadda while unveiling the manifesto in Gandhinagar on Saturday.The party promised to set up a task force to “scrutinisse assets and finances of Waqf Board and conduct surveys of madrasas with regard to their curriculum”.The BJP manifesto is testimony to the fact that the party's campaign, which began on the development plank, is taking a detour to the tried-and-tested Hindutva plank. Reflections of this were seen in the rallies addressed by several of the party's star campaigners in Gujarat in the last few days.The manifesto mentions enacting the Gujarat Recovery of Damages of Public and Private Properties Act, meant to recover damages to public and private properties by anti-social elements during riots, violent protests and unrest, etc.Elections to the 182-member Assembly will be held on December 1 and 5.

  • BJP Will Never Implement Uniform Civil Code In Gujarat: AAP's Raghav Chadha
  • Ndtv

    Gujarat Assembly election is an election for change, Raghav Chadha said. (File)New Delhi: The BJP will never implement a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said on Saturday, dubbing the saffron party's poll promise as "fake".The reaction of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party came after the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its manifesto for the Gujarat Assembly polls, promising the implementation of a UCC in the state if it retains power."The BJP has ruled Gujarat for 27 years. After remaining at the helm for more than two decades, it is still making promises," the AAP's co-incharge for Gujarat, Raghav Chadha, told reporters here when asked for his party's view on the BJP's poll promise of implementing a UCC in the state."If it was indeed their intent, they would have implemented it much ago," Raghav Chadha said, asking, "Why didn't they implement it?" "It is a fake promise. The BJP will never implement it (UCC)," he added.On October 29, the Gujarat government announced that it would form a committee for the implementation of a UCC. Other BJP-ruled states, such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, have also promised to implement a UCC.Mr Chadha said neither the BJP nor the Congress is talking about the real issues in the run-up to the Gujarat polls.The AAP is the only party that has come up with a "model for the economic uplift" of the people of Gujarat, he said, asserting that the party will emerge victorious in the state Assembly polls to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"The Gujarat Assembly election is an election for change. Be it Saurashtra, north Gujarat, central Gujarat or south Gujarat -- there is a wave for change everywhere in the state and people will vote for it. And in Gujarat, a change means Arvind Kejriwal," the AAP leader said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayHow To Track FIFA World Cup

  • Gujarat assembly elections: BJP’s manifesto promises Uniform Civil Code, anti-radicalisation cell
  • Times of India

    NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has promised to implement Gujarat Uniform Civil Code Committee's recommendations and create an anti-radicalisation cell in the state if re-elected to power in the upcoming assembly elections. The promises are a part of the ruling party's manifesto released on Saturday in Gandhinagar. The party manifesto, which made at least 40 promises, was released by Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel, BJP national president JP Nadda and state party president CR Paatil. The Gujarat assembly elections are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and December 5. Voting for 89 assembly seats will take place in the first phase, while for the remaining 93 assembly seats, voting will be held in the second phase of polling. Read AlsoCongress moves EC, alleges BJP using kids in Gujarat ralliesNEW DELHI: Congress on Friday petitioned the Election Commission accusing BJP and PM Modi of using children in the election campaign in Gujarat. The allegation pertains to a video shared by Modi, in which a small girl seated with him speaks in Gujarati about the BJP's governance under PM Modi. Implementation of the Gujarat Uniform Civil Code Committee's recommendation"We will ensure the complete implementation of the Gujarat Uniform Civil Code Committee's recommendation and create more than one lakh government jobs for women in the next five years," Nadda said on the release of the manifesto. The BJP, which has been in power in the state for more than two decades, in its manifesto promised the complete implementation of the Gujarat Uniform Civil Code Committee's recommendation and the formation of an anti-radicalisation cell to identify and eliminate potential threats and sleeper cells of the terrorist organisations and anti-India forces. Free-of-cost education to girlsBJP promised free-of-cost, and quality education to all the female students here from Kindergarten to Post Graduation and added that it will provide free two-wheelers to the meritorious college-going female students. It further added free bus travel to women senior citizens and promised to provide one lakh government jobs to the women for the next five years. In the electoral manifesto released today, the BJP promised to convert 20,000 government schools into Schools of Excellence in the next five years with a budget of Rs 10,000 crore. Keshavram Kashiram Shastri Higher Education Transformation Fund with a budget of Rs 1,000 crore, will also be used to construct new government colleges and revamp the existing ones, it read further adding that 20 lakh employment opportunities will also be created in the state. It, then, promised four Gujarat Institutes of Technology (GIT) like IITs as the Centres of Excellence and would emphasise the Gujarat Olympics Mission to create world-class sports infrastructure aiming to host the Olympics in 2036. Read AlsoCongress used to instigate Gujarat strife, BJP taught rioters a lesson in 2002: ShahVADODARA/AHMEDABAD: Union home minister Amit Shah on Friday said while Congress incited riots to strengthen its vote bank, the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government "taught a lesson" to those perpetrators in 2002 to bring perennial peace in Gujarat. The state has not witnessed a curfew ever since, heAdvanced healthcare facilities in tribal areas For the tribals in the state, the BJP in its manifesto also promised to enable mobile delivery of ration across all the 56 Tribal Sub Plan Talukas in the state and ensured Rs 1 lakh crore under the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana 2.0 for the all-round socio-economic development of tribals. The manifesto read that the Birsa Munda Adi Jati Samriddhi Corridor between Ambaji and Umergram will spur growth by connecting every tribal district's headquarters with a 4-6 lane state highway, and by constructing a tribal cultural circuit will connect Pal Dadhvaav and the Statue of Unity to Shabari Dham. The BJP also promised to provide advanced healthcare facilities in tribal areas by setting up eight medical colleges, and ten nursing/para-medical colleges. As many as eight Gujarat Industrial Development Corporations (GIDC) in the tribal belt will generate employment opportunities for tribal youth, it added. 25 Birsa Munda Gyan Shakti Residential Schools will also provide the best residential schooling facilities to 75,000 meritorious students from the tribal community. Double the cap under Ayushman Bharat On the health front, BJP promised to double the cap under Ayushman Bharat from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per family and ensure free-of-cost medical treatment. Mukhyamantri Free Diagnostic Scheme with a corpus of Rs 110 crore will also be ensured to provide free-of-cost diagnostic services for EWS households. It further added to provide Rs 10,000 crore in Maharaja Shri Bhagvatsinhji Swasthya Kosht and mentioned that three Civil Medicities, and two AIIMS-grade institutions will also be structured here. The manifesto promised to upgrade the infrastructure at Hospitals, Community Health Centres (CHCs), and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). Read AlsoGujarat’s bond with PM Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again: Amit ShahA lot of issues that BJP consistently raised since its Jana Sangh days in the 1950s, and which resonated with large sections in Gujarat, have been resolved by Narendra Modi’s government.Rs 10,000 crore under Gujarat Krishi Infrastructure Kosh BJP has also promised to provide Rs 10,000 crore under Gujarat Krishi Infrastructure Kosh to develop Khedut Mandis, modern Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC), sorting and grading units, cold chains, warehouses, primary processing centres, and will also expand the existing irrigation network through projects such as Sujalam Sufalam, SAUNI, lift irrigation projects, micro irrigation, drip irrigation. Encircling Gujarat with 4-6 lane roads/highways"We will develop the first-of-its-kind Parikrama Path of 3,000 km encircling the whole state with 4-6 lane roads/ highways by constructing a South Eastern Peripheral Highway and North Western Peripheral Highway," the manifesto added. The Gujarat Link Corridors will also be completed by augmenting the highways through the East-West Corridor connecting Dahod with Porbandar and North-South Corridor connecting Palanpur to Valsad. It will also provide seamless connectivity between economic hubs and national highways by developing the Saurashtra Express Highway Grid. The manifesto added that BJP will use the Rs 25,000 crore under the Gujarat Urban Development Mission to transform the urban landscape with a focus on decongesting the existing cities (Satellite Townships) and increasing ease of living (Riverfront, Recreational Parks, Urban Forests, Traffic Management Systems) for citizens. The BJP is also expected to complete the works of Gandhinagar and Surat Metro and will kick start the first metro rail service at Saurashtra (Rajkot) and Central Gujarat (Vadodara). Read AlsoBJP will surpass its previous best in Gujarat polls: Union home minister ShahAHMEDABAD: Union home minister Amit Shah has claimed that BJP will win the coming Gujarat elections by a record margin, surpassing its previous best performances - both in terms of seats and vote share. "We shall break all our past records and and return to office once again with a thumpingEstablishing India's biggest spiritual centreThe party promised to work at Devbhumi Dwarka Corridor to establish it as western India's biggest spiritual centre, comprising of the World's tallest Shree Krishna statue. It will also invest Rs 1,000 crore to renovate, expand and promote temples, following the successful transformation model of Somnath, Ambaji and Pavagadh. It will also spend Rs 2,500 crore to promote Gujarat's culture at the national and international levels by building museums, centres for performing arts, and Sardar Patel Bhawan. Other promises With the additional budget of Rs 500 crore, the party has also included strengthening of the existing Gaushalas and setting up 1,000 additional Mobile Veterinary Units. It also promised to build seafood parks in South Gujarat and Saurashtra, build the country's first Blue Economy Industrial Corridor and strengthen the fishing-related infrastructures. BJP has promised Shramik Credit Cards for the labourers that would help them with collateral-free loans up to Rs 2 lakh. It added that the OBC/ST/SC/EWS students who get into a National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) top-ranking institution in India ot any top-ranking world institution for higher education will be given a one-time incentive grant of Rs 50,000. It has also put forth that Gujarat can become a USD 1 trillion economy by focusing more on services and investing in human and institutional capacity-building for new-age industries. The party will also attract foreign investment of Rs 5 lakh crore and make the state the Defence and Aviation Manufacturing Hub of India. With agency inputs

  • BJP's Gujarat Election Manifesto Promises Uniform Civil Code In State
  • Ndtv

    Gujarat Election 2022: BJP president JP Nadda today released the party's election manifesto.Gandhinagar: The Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP today released its manifesto for next month's Gujarat Assembly elections, in which it promised to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state if the party retained power.In the manifesto, which was released here by BJP president JP Nadda, the party also promised free education to girls from KG to PG (kindergarten to post-graduation).PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comIt also assured that the amount of medical insurance coverage under the Ayushman Bharat scheme would be doubled from Rs five lakh to Rs 10 lakh. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayRapid Fire With The Cast Of Bhediya

  • BJP committed to bringing Uniform Civil Code after following all processes: Amit Shah
  • The Indian Express

    THE BJP committed to bring Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country but only after following all democratic processes and discussions on it, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday.Speaking at the Times Now Summit on ‘India: A vibrant democracy, global bright spot’, Shah said the UCC has been a promise of the BJP since its Bhartiya Jan Sangh days. “Not only the BJP, the Constituent Assembly had also advised Parliament and states that UCC should come in the country at an opportune time. For any secular country, laws should not be on the basis of religion. If a nation and states are secular, how can laws be based on religion? For every believer, there should be one law passed by Parliament or the state assemblies,” he said.He said that the commitment of the Constituent Assembly was forgotten over a period of time. “Except the BJP, no other party is in favour of the UCC. They did not even speak on it. If they don’t have courage, they won’t oppose it. But they won’t say that, OK you implement it we are with you. We are a part of a democracy. In a democracy, healthy debate is a necessity. There is a need for open and healthy debate on the issue,” he said.Shah said in three BJP-ruled states – Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh – panels under the chairmanship of retired Supreme Court judge and High Court chief justices have been formed, where all groups and people of different faiths are putting forth their views. “We will take any action on the basis of advice coming after this exercise. The BJP is committed to bring UCC but only after the conclusion of all democratic discussions,” he said.On abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Shah said, “This is not a personal achievement. I am a member of the Cabinet and the achievement is of the Modi Cabinet and the government. But yes, in Jammu and Kashmir, the Modi government has brought in a drastic change.”“It used to be said that Jammu and Kashmir is with India due to Article 370. Many security pundits used to say that do not touch 370, it will burn your hand. Now, Article 370 is gone and Jammu and Kashmir is prosperous and it has also helped in getting terrorism controlled in the country,” he said.“A new democratic generation is coming up in Jammu and Kashmir where over 30,000 panches and sarpanches are percolating the democracy to grassroots,” he said.Shah also said Rs 56,000 crore of investment had come into Jammu and Kashmir and a record 80 lakh tourists, the highest since Independence, visited the Union Territory since 2019. “As far as terrorism is concerned, since 1990s when it started, there are lowest incidents of terrorism now. Stone pelting has completely stopped. It is zero. It is a very big development of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government,” he said.When asked about the issue of the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, Shah said it is a relative question and the targeting of civilians and Hindus has drastically come down in the Valley. “We have targeted the roots of terrorism and it will take some time to completely uproot terrorism there,” he added.Responding to a related question, Shah said the abrogation of Article 370 and the implementation of UCC cannot be compared. “If by 2024, it is possible that some states themselves might implement UCC. But if it doesn’t happen by then, in 2024, when we will return to power and then we will implement it,” he said.Shah also exuded confidence in BJP’s victory in the Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat assembly elections as also in the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) polls.When asked about allegations of agencies like the CBI and ED being misused ahead of elections, Shah said that the federal bodies were working freely and anyone having grievances can move courts.To a question on the need of having anti-conversion laws, Shah said wherever BJP-ruled state governments are there, such laws have been made. “In Gujarat, I can tell you in detail. We have it and we are implementing it strictly as well. It is for state legislatures to decide on it,” he said.

Suvendu says CAA to be a reality in Bengal soon, dares Mamata to stop implementation
The Indian Express | 1 hour ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:50 am
The Indian Express
1 hour ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:50 am

Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari on Saturday asserted that Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) would be a reality in West Bengal soon and dared Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to stop its implementation.“CAA is a much-debated issue. We are proud that it has been implemented in a place in Gujarat. CAA will be implemented here too. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjeeneeds to hear that it will be implemented soon. I challenge her if she has guts, then stop its implementation,” said Adhikari addressing a public meeting on CAA atThakurnagar in North 24 Parganas district.The meeting was convened by Union Minister of State for Shipping, Ports and Waterways Shantanu Thakur.Thakurnagar is considered the hub of the Matua community people who migrated to India from Bangladesh after the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Getting the country’s citizenship is their long-standing demand which the BJP had promised to fulfil if voted to power in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly polls.Addressing the meeting, Thakur said, “The state government is misleading people on CAA, but it will prove a futile exercise. People support CAA. It will definitely be implemented one day.”Adhikari, meanwhile, asserted that he would ensure that Mamata Banerjee becomes the ex-chief minister of the state. “I have defeated Mamata Banerjee and I will ensure democratically that she becomes the former chief minister of the state. She has surrendered before the Opposition. So, we will keep mounting pressure on her,” said Adhikari, who met the chief minister at her Assembly chamberon Friday.Reacting to his comment, TMC MP Sougata Roy said, “CAA was passed in December 2019. Three years have passed, but the Centre is yet to frame its rules. Now they are showing an urgency to implement the law. People cannot be fooled anymore. Moreover, we have always maintained that the refugees who came to India before 1971 arecitizens of this country.”

Suvendu says CAA to be a reality in Bengal soon, dares Mamata to stop implementation
Gujarat Assembly elections: PM Modi, Kejriwal to address rallies in Surat today
The Indian Express | 1 hour ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:50 am
The Indian Express
1 hour ago | 27-11-2022 | 05:50 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal will be speaking at campaign rallies on Sunday in Gujarat’s ‘diamond city’ Surat which sends 12 MLAs to the state’s 182-member Assembly.Modi will address a public meeting at Mota Varachha in Surat after a 25-km road-show from the airport to the rally venue, said the local Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jagdish Patel.He is also scheduled to address three rallies at Netrang in Bharuch and in Kheda district.Kejriwal will be on a two-day tour of Surat, which for long has remained a stronghold of the BJP with the support of its textile and diamond industry and lakhs people associated with the sectors.

Gujarat Assembly elections: PM Modi, Kejriwal to address rallies in Surat today
  • Gujarat elections 2022: UP CM Yogi Adityanath hits out at AAP and Congress
  • Times of India

    LUCKNOW: Addressing three rallies in poll-bound Gujarat on Saturday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath referred to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal as "namoona" from Delhi who has supported terrorists and was against the Ram temple. यह जो आम आदमी पार्टी का नमूना आया है न दिल्ली से, यह तो आतंकवाद का सच्चा हितैषी है... https://t.co/6iehVBaFDR— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) 1669448912000Paying respects to Hamirji Gohil, who reportedly died while protecting the Somnath Temple from a Mughal attack, the CM said that Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel wanted the temple reconstructed but to “keep its Muslim vote bank happy”, Congress kept delaying the work. “That namoona (sample) from Delhi is an avowed supporter of terrorism, who suspected the valour of the Indian forces during the country’s surgical strike in Balakot and asked for proof even though Pakistan admitted to the losses on its side caused due to the attack,” the CM said of Kejriwal, whose party is contesting Gujarat assembly polls for the first time and has turned the contest triangular. “AAP was against the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya and its government in Delhi abandoned people during the Covid pandemic who had to rush to UP for treatment. Those who can’t handle Delhi, what can they do in Gujarat?” the chief minister said, addressing rallies in Gir Somnath, Bhavnagar and Amraili. In an attack on former PM Jawaraharlal Nehru, Yogi said he was against the reconstruction of Somnath temple for fear of losing Muslim support and it was only because of Vallabhbhai Patel that the temple could be rebuilt. During the rally in Amreli, Yogi said that the absence of the brother and sister of Congress, referring to Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, from the Gujarat campaign was proof that they had already conceded defeat. “Both Congress and AAP can’t respect people’s faith, nor can they provide security, development and prosperity to the nation and should be rejected. Corruption and supporting terrorism is in their genes. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the country is making rapid strides in development and prosperity while inclusive progress and security of the citizens have also been ensured,” he said. Under Modi’s leadership, he said, India’s prestige has shot up globally and that the country has defeated the UK, which ruled India for nearly 200 years, to become the fifth largest economy in the world. As the CM of Gujarat, Yogi Adityanath added, Modi had ensured that riots and curfews did not take place and when he became PM, he did not allow terror attacks on Indian soil. “PM Modi decided to celebrate November 26, the day of the final draft of the Constitution, as Constitution Day to make every citizen realise that they do not only have rights but also have duties towards the country,” he said. Paying tributes to BR Ambedkar, the CM said that Congress did not give him and Patel due respect whereas Modi not only got a huge statue of Patel built in Gujarat but has also developed five places associated with Ambedkar as ‘Panch teerth’. Yogi campaigns for Hardik PatelChief minister Yogi Adityanath campaigned for Patidar leader Hardik Patel in Viramgam in Gujarat on Saturday. Patel quit Congress in May this year and joined BJP soon after, which gave him a ticket for the assembly polls. The CM held a massive roadshow in Viramgam. An official who was accompanying the CM said that the rally was accompanied by chants of Yogi and Jai Shri Ram. In the middle of the roadshow, the CM stopped his entourage to allow an ambulance to pass through. Later in the day, he visited a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and garlanded it as a mark of respect.

  • ‘Gujarat polls one-sided …’ Nadda exudes confidence in BJP’s victory
  • Times of India

    SABARKANTHA: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda on Saturday exuded confidence in the ruling party's returning to power in Gujarat where assembly elections are due next month. The BJP chief held a massive road show in Gujarat's Himmatnagar on Saturday. "There is trust and unconditional love for PM Modi here. Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel has implemented various development schemes in the state. The people here are eager to support BJP. This election appears to be one-sided, on December 1 and 5. The decision will be in favour of BJP," Nadda told ANI. "Seeing the immense public support in the road show organized today in Himmatnagar, I am clear that BJP is again getting the historic support of the public. This enthusiasm and love being expressed across the state is a reflection of all-round development and achievements made in the last two decades," he said. Earlier on Saturday, Nadda released the BJP's manifesto for Gujarat polls in Gandhinagar, in the presence of state Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and BJP state president CR Patil. The BJP, which has been in power in the state for more than two decades, promised a free-of-cost, and quality education to all the female students here from kindergarten to post graduation and added that it will provide free two-wheelers to the meritorious college-going female students. It further added free bus travel to women senior citizens and promised to provide one lakh government jobs to the women for the next five years. For the tribals in the state, the BJP in its manifesto promised to enable mobile delivery of ration across all the 56 tribal sub plan Talukas in the state and ensured Rs 1 lakh crore under the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana 2.0 for the all-round socio-economic development of tribals. The manifesto further promised to provide Rs 10,000 crore in Maharaja Shri Bhagvatsinhji Swasthya Kosht and mentioned that three Civil Medicities, and two AIIMS-grade institutions will also be structured here. The manifesto then promised to upgrade the infrastructure at Hospitals, Community Health Centres (CHCs), and Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). The BJP has also promised to convert 20,000 government schools into Schools of Excellence in the next five years with a budget of Rs 10,000 crore. Keshavram Kashiram Shastri Higher Education Transformation Fund with a budget of Rs 1,000 crore, will also be used to construct new government colleges and revamp the existing ones, it read further adding that 20 lakh employment opportunities will also be created in the state. It, then, promised four Gujarat Institute of Technology (GIT) like IITs as the Centres of Excellence and would emphasise the Gujarat Olympics Mission to create world-class sports infrastructure aiming to host the Olympics in 2036. The party promised to develop the first-of-its-kind Parikrama Path of 3,000 km encircling the whole state with 4-6 lane roads/ highways by constructing a South Eastern Peripheral Highway and North Western Peripheral Highway, it added. The Gujarat Link Corridors will also be completed by augmenting the highways through the East-West Corridor connecting Dahod with Porbandar and North-South Corridor connecting Palanpur to Valsad. The Assembly elections in Gujarat are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and December 5, whose results will be declared on December 8, which coincides with the result date of the Himachal Pradesh polls.

  • Gujarat elections 2022: Will Navsari voters again favour BJP?
  • Times of India

    Situated between Surat and Mumbai, Navsari is an ancient and historical city. It is also known as the Mecca of Parsis, who reside in this district in large numbers. Navsari has birthed numerous illustrious Parsi figures including the first Dastoor Meherjirana; Dadabhai Naoroji – the grand old man of India and Jamsetji Tata – the father of Indian industry. Navsari is one of the 182 Legislative Assembly constituencies of Gujarat state. It is a part of Navsari district. There are over 2 lakh 47 thousand voters in this constituency and it represents segments from Navsari Taluka and Gandevi Taluka. Navsari has well-developed infrastructure in all aspects- good schools or hospitals, the district has it all, although people have mixed opinion. Some appear utterly dissatisfied while others point out the change that has been brought in the past 20 years. While Talking about the development in the last 25 years, Tejal Soni says, “When we shifted from Mumbai to Navsari around 25 years ago, there were only three English medium schools but today there are more than 20. Parents do not have to worry about their children’s education. Moreover, the number of hospitals has also increased over the years. Earlier, people had to travel either to Surat or Mumbai for better treatment options but now they don’t have to go through this hassle. People of Navsari and nearby villages can avail best of facilities at the Civil Hospitals in the district”. Navsari is one of the oldest cities of Gujarat and has a rich history. Dandi village near Navsari was the focal point of the great Salt March led by Mahatma Gandhi. Due to its historical relevance, the village attracts many tourists and if the infrastructure is enhanced, the footfall can rise. Arvindbhai Soni, a local resident said, “Navsari is known for being a peaceful place. The development is quite good here. Dandi Beach where Gandhiji has done his Satyagraha is just 15 kilometres away from here. So, that should be developed further and there must be more lodging arrangements for tourists near the site.’ He further added that development has been done near the Dandi beach due to the fact that it sees a number of tourists from Surat, Vadodara and Mumbai but still more can be done. While infrastructure is less of a concern in Navsari, inflation is. A senior resident from Navsari, Yoginiben Soni said, “Inflation is quite high. Rich people have no problem spending money and poor people get the necessary benefits, it’s only the middle class which is suffering the most. Be it the prices of oil, gas or petrol, all have increased, which is making our lives difficult.’ While BJP which has been holding Navsari seat since 1990 is trying to underplay inflation, the other major parties - Congress and AAP are aggressively bringing the issue to fore. Water scarcity is another issue being pointed out by the residents. A local from the district's Vejalpur area, Bharat Gupta said, “Till date, the government has not been able to solve our water woes. Though few months back, a water treatment plant was established in our area, the water hasn’t reached our homes yet.” He further highlighted the issue of potholes on roads which is putting people’s lives at risk, especially during monsoons. He also went on to express his disappointment with government schools in the area. He said, “Several government schools have closed, and few are in very bad condition. In many, there is only one teacher who is teaching all the classes.” With such disappointment among people against the government, this time the fight is not going to be easy for BJP. In 2017, Piyushbhai Dinkerbhai Desai defeated Congress candidate Bhavnaben Anilbhai Patel by a huge margin of over 46,000 votes. He also won the Navsari seat in 2012 when he defeated Congress's A.D. Patel by over 15,000 votes. Before Desai, it was BJP’s Mangubhai Chhaganbhai Patel who won the Navsari seat since 1990. This time BJP has fielded a new candidate, Rakesh Desai, to carry forward its winning legacy. He will be contesting against AAP's Upesh Patel and Congress's Deepak Barot. It would be interesting to see whether Navsari voters continue to support BJP or give a chance to other political parties. The voting in Navsari will be held on December 1 in the first phase of Gujarat elections.

  • Gujarat elections 2022: Somnath-Veraval missing the pulse & enthusiasm of Ayodhya; could be a tough seat for BJP
  • Times of India

    Being home to one of the country's most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindu - the Somnath temple, Somnath-Veraval is no stranger to large crowds. This assembly seat is a prestige battle for BJP. PM Modi, Amit Shah and senior BJP leader, LK Advani are members of the Somnath temple trust. In the 1990s, BJP veteran LK Advani took out the Rath Yatra from Somnath. In 2007, the party won three out of four assembly seats in Gir Somnath region, followed by only one in 2012, but none in 2017, despite being the state's ruling party. The Somnath-Veraval seat was won by Vimalbhai Chudasama of Congress by a margin of more than 20 thousand votes. Congress has fielded its incumbent candidate, Vimalbhai Chudasma this time too. Vimalbhai is a prominent Koli leader. The constituency has about 40 thousand Koli voters. Congress will also be banking upon the 40 thousand Muslim voters in the constituency. BJP on the other hand, has brought in a fresh face this time. It has fielded Mansingh Parmar, a young fresh face. Mansingh is from the Karadiya community, which is estimated to be about 20 thousand voters. Mansingh Parmar believes the party missed out on “community factor” last time, which is why it lost in the region. However, this time it will win for sure since the party has factored-in different castes while giving tickets. PM Modi started the Saurashtra campaign with a visit to the Somnath temple on Sunday. He went to address the rally at Sadbhavna ground near the temple. PM Modi’s rally gives an indication of what is BJP's thinking for this seat. By all indications, it is attempting to leverage the popularity of PM Modi and has gone back on its ‘son-of-the-soil’ campaign strategy which the BJP tried in the last assembly elections. However, visiting the Somnath-Veraval seat, one can’t miss the voter fatigue. There are very few posters in the city. The energy and enthusiasm that one expects from a place of such religious importance is missing. The temple city is clean with adequate infrastructure for tourists. One can spend the whole day around the temple adjoining the beach. There aren’t many local issues as such. The economy revolves around tourism. Sandeepbhai Prajapati, a tea-stall owner, credits the Somnath temple for the town's livelihood. The town is crowded with people who run fast-food joints, restaurants, and guesthouses. Thanks to tourism, anyone can find some type of employment in Somnath. However, millennials aspiring for a better lifestyle tend to look for high income jobs, which are few and far between. Kewal Morbeeya, a student of computer application, explains why the better-educated, younger generation struggles to find employment in Somnath. Kewal is currently doing his bachelors from a university in Ahmedabad. Since colleges in or around the city of Somnath are not as good, he had to migrate to Ahmedabad. He agrees that Somnath is a good place for small traders like tea-shop owners, electricians and jobs in construction, but he sees no relevant employment opportunities for a BCA graduate. Radha’s husband works as a security guard. He has received a daily wage hike of Rs 150. With this increase, his wages have increased to Rs 450 a day. She credits this to the blessings of Somnath dada. However, living with this wage is still tough and the gas and electricity bill still stings. As per Radha, both bills add up to between Rs 1700 and Rs 2000 per month. It will be difficult for BJP to woo young voters as unemployment and inflation. People do talk about these after much probing, however, not many are willing to say it on camera. Although AAP has also fielded its candidate from this seat, it is currently seen as an also-ran. People, especially the young voters are curious to know about AAP, but how much this will translate into actual votes, remains to be seen. Congress, on the other hand is relying on popularity and caste arithmetic, which appears to be in its favour. Somnath-Veraval has over 2 lakh forty-two thousand voters and the voting will be held during phase-1 on December 1.

  • BJP Election Manifesto Promises "Anti-Radicalisation Cell" In Gujarat
  • Ndtv

    BJP president JP Nadda released the party's election manifesto for Gujarat in Gandhinagar todayGandhinagar: Ruling BJP has promised to start an "anti-radicalisation cell" against anti-national elements in Gujarat should the party be voted back to power in the forthcoming Assembly elections. "Complete implementation" of the Uniform Civil Code and creation of 20 lakh jobs are among the other major promises made by the party in the poll-bound state.Releasing BJP's election manifesto in Gandhinagar today, JP Nadda, the party's national president, said the "anti-radicalisation cell would identify and eliminate the threats of destabilisation as well as the sleeper cells of radical groups, terrorist organisations and anti-India forces".Mr Nadda's comments bear an echo with what Union Home Minister Amit Shah had said yesterday. Addressing an election rally in Gujarat, Mr Shah said that those responsible for communal riots in Gujarat were "taught such a lesson" that the state has been peaceful for 22 years."During the Congress rule in Gujarat [before 1995], communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, Congress had strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society," Mr Shah said.Elections are scheduled to be held in Gujarat on December 1 and 5 and votes will be counted on December 8.While releasing the BJP's election manifesto, the party president said today: "A new law will come into force that will help identify those who damage private and public properties. These anti-India forces will be identified and penalised."He added: "We will ensure complete implementation of the Gujarat Uniform Civil Code Committee's recommendations."Incumbent Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil were also present to release the party's election manifesto.The BJP election manifesto for Gujarat was released in Gandhinagar todayTaking a swipe at the opposition, Mr Nadda claimed: "Opposition parties making fake promises are free to do so because they're never going to come to power. So they're not even accountable, unlike the BJP."He said apart from establishing a Gujarat Institute of Technology, 20,000 government schools will be converted into Schools of Excellence and 20 lakh employment opportunities will be generated for the youth.Rs 10,000 crores for developing agricultural marketing infrastructure, Rs 25,000 crores for irrigation facilities, offering medical insurance worth Rs10 lakhs under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, developing three medicities and two state-of-the-art hospitals in the state are among the other promises made by the party in its manifesto.The manifesto also promised Shramik Credit Cards for labourers with collateral-free credit up to Rs 2 lakh.The BJP has promised to complete the Gandhinagar and Surat Metro corridors and begin work on the first Metro rail service at Saurashtra (Rajkot) and Central Gujarat (Vadodara).Mukhyamantri Free Diagnostic Scheme with a corpus of Rs 110 crores will ensure free-of-cost diagnostic services for households belonging to the economically weaker sections.For the tribals in the state, the BJP in its manifesto promised to enable mobile delivery of ration across all the 56 Tribal Sub-Plan Talukas in the state and ensured Rs 1 lakh crore under the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana 2.0 for the all-round socio-economic development of tribals.The manifesto added that the Birsa Munda Adi Jati Samriddhi Corridor between Ambaji and Umergram will spur growth by connecting every tribal district headquarters with a four-six lane highway and by constructing a tribal cultural circuit that will connect Pal Dadhvaav and the Statue of Unity to Shabari Dham.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com25 Birsa Munda Gyan Shakti Residential Schools will provide the best residential schooling facilities to 75,000 meritorious students from the tribal community.On the religious front, the party has promised to work on the Devbhumi Dwarka Corridor to establish it as western India's biggest spiritual centre, comprising the World's tallest Shree Krishna statue.Featured Video Of The DayDelhi Civic Body Polls: Case Filed Against Ex-Congress MLA For Abusing Cop

Modi model of governance is sustainable, no anti-incumbency, graph ever-rising: Jitendra Singh
The Indian Express | 3 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 03:50 am
The Indian Express
3 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 03:50 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s model of governance is sustainable, as it has defied the principle of diminishing returns, there is no anti-incumbency, and the graph is rising always upwards, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.Since 2014, Modi has given a “new, different kind of model of governance, which is based on a new, different approach, and a different work culture”, the MoS for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and PMO said.Addressing the inaugural session of 25th e-governance conference here, Singh said, “What is this governance model that I am trying to be boisterous about? Some authors have described it as Modi’s model of governance… It is not simply for name-dropping, as some cynics might feel. It is a model that has sustained itself for nearly 20 years, or more than 20 years, with Modi as the longest-serving head of government in any democracy.“Therefore, I have the courage and conviction to say this is a sustainable model of governance.”He said, “This is a model which has defied the principle of diminishing returns. On the contrary, with each passing year, the dividends have increased. There is no anti-incumbency…. The graph is always upwards, never down.”This is a model that has “grown stronger with each challenge”, because it was always prepared beforehand to face a challenge, Singh said. “As chief minister (of Gujarat), Mr Modi faced the earthquake in Gujarat. As Prime Minister, the pandemic (Covid-19). We were already prepared for it; we could do better.”Singh said it was due to this governance model that the Covid-19 pandemic could be managed. Recently, he said, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands appreciated the way India combatted Covid-19. “He said we (Amsterdam) could not manage with such a small population, how could you? I said because we were already prepared. So, this is the governance model (he is referring to).”Singh said the basic mantra of the Modi government is “maximum governance, minimum government”.“This sounds very fanciful…like a philosophy, an ornamental phrase…. But the simple meaning is a government that acts as a facilitator but does not act as an intimidator. That is how I have sought to interpret it…sarkaar ka abhav bhi nahin aur sarkaar ka prabhav bhi nahi (neither the absence of government nor the influence of government),” he said.Singh said the “whole of government, whole of nation and whole of society” approach has become the new norm to achieve the desired results in the shortest span of time”.The two-day National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) is organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in association with the Jammu & Kashmir administration. The theme of this year’s conference is “Bringing Citizens, Industry and Government closer”.Addressing the gathering, DARPG Secretary V Srinivas said the maxim ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government’ is represented by a digitally empowered nation, a digitally empowered citizenry, and a digitally transformed institution. Between 2014 and 2022, he said, the government has brought about digital transformation that has been accepted by the rural population through Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, BHIM UPI, CoWIN, Arogya Setu App.J&K Chief Secretary Arun Mehta said it is a proud moment for the UT to be hosting the 25th National Conference on e-Governance at Katra, which shows signs of changes taking place in the UT.Information Technology Secretary Alkesh Kumar called it an occasion to recognise and showcase exemplary digital transformations brought about by the Centre, the states and the start-up community.On the occasion, Singh presented the National Awards for e-Governance (NAeG) under five categories of the NAeG Scheme-2022 to 18 e-Governance initiatives at Central, state and district levels, academic and research institutions and Public Sector Undertakings.(The reporter was in Katra on an invitation from the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions)

Modi model of governance is sustainable, no anti-incumbency, graph ever-rising: Jitendra Singh
At farmers’ rally, Uddhav hits out at BJP, PM Modi
The Indian Express | 3 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 03:50 am
The Indian Express
3 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 03:50 am

Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday slammed the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying industrial projects coming to Maharashtra are being diverted to neighboring Gujarat as Assembly elections are being held there. He also called the BJP a “party of imports” and “chor bazaar (flea market)”.While addressing a farmers’ rally at Chikhli in Buldhana, Uddhav also slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for his “silence” over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute, the alleged insult of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the government’s inaction on farmers’ plight in the state.After stepping down as chief minister in June this year, this was Thackeray’s first rally outside Mumbai. Last month, Uddhav had addressed party workers at its annual Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park.“The BJP has lost its ideology and is only importing people from other parties. It has become a party of imports. If you enlist, you will find how many people they have taken into their party from other parties. Nothing is left with them so they are stealing people from other parties. Is it a political party or ‘chor bazaar’,” Uddhav said.Hitting out at Modi, Uddhav said the PM would not hesitate to break Maharashtra and hand over villages to Karnataka with polls in Karnataka next year. “The projects coming to Maharashtra were diverted to Gujarat owing to the elections there. Now Karnataka chief minister is staking claims over Akkalkot and Solapur of Maharashtra. Karnataka is going to polls next year, I am afraid that as the PM sent the projects to Gujarat, he won’t hesitate before breaking Maharashtra into pieces,” Thackeray said.Taking a dig at Shinde, Uddhav said, “This CM might even say that what is the harm in handing over 40 villages to Karnataka …. PM has promised to get Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and give us 100 villages…..”Further attacking Shinde who along with his MPs and MLAs went to Guwahati, Uddhav said, “Today all these 40 people have gone to Guwahati to take blessings. A weekago he (Shinde) had gone to visit an astrologer to know his future. He doesn’t know his own future. And he is going to decide our future? In fact, his future is being decided by people sitting in Delhi. He has to follow their orders,” Thackeray said.Claiming that nearly 1,000 farmers had committed suicide in Maharashtra since the formation of the current dispensation in the state in July this year, Uddhav said if he would have been the CM, he would not have allowed such suicides to take place.In response to Uddhav’s attack, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which held the reins of Maharashtra between November 2019 and June 2022, should explain where was its concern for farmers and the agriculture sector. Why did it fail to address the agrarian crisis?”

At farmers’ rally, Uddhav hits out at BJP, PM Modi
I give money to public, don’t take it to Swiss bank: Kejriwal
The Indian Express | 6 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 12:50 am
The Indian Express
6 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 12:50 am

Aam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said that he is giving money to the people and “not taking it to Swiss bank”, replying to BJP’s accusations of him “squandering money”.“Ye mujhko BJP wale khoob galiyan dete hain…..Kejriwal sara paisa luta dega. Kejriwal janta ko hi toh paisa de raha hai (These BJP people curse me a lot…..Kejriwal will squander all the money. Kejriwal is only giving money to the public). Kejriwal is not taking the money to the Swiss bank, or building mansions or buying properties,” the AAP chief said in Bhavnagar.Kejriwal also repeated guarantees of free electricity, allowance for women, employment, unemployment allowance and raised the issue of paper leaks. The Delhi chief minister also claimed to reinstate the Old Pension Scheme by January 31 (2023), if they are voted to power. Asking just five years from his voters in the roadshow, the supremo said, “If I don’t work, then oust me.”AAP candidates from Bhavnagar West, Bhavnagar East, Bhavnagar Rural, Palitana, Gadhada, Botad and Talaja of Bhavnagar and Botad districts were present in the roadshow as well. All of these constituencies are the stronghold of the BJP, except for Talaja which is Congress dominated seat.Kejriwal also said that God will cause a miracle by sweeping the broom, the Aam Aadmi Party’s election symbol, and catapult his party to power in Gujarat.Raju Solanki, who is the AAP candidate from Bhavnagar West, of the two term MLA and Gujarat Education Minister Jitu Vaghani, who has been re-fielded from the same seat.When the “pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom”, the AAP national convener claimed.“In all of Gujarat, a heavy storm of change is brewing. The entire state has stood up. Some miracle is going to happen this time. It is said in Bhagavadgita that whenever the pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom. The Almighty has started sweeping his broom,” Kejriwal said.(With PTI)

I give money to public, don’t take it to Swiss bank: Kejriwal
Pune: Four arrested for opening fire at different spots in Lohegaon
Times of India | 7 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 pm
Times of India
7 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 pm

PUNE: Four youths, including two college students, were arrested on Saturday morning for opening fire at Sant Tukaram Mandir Chowk and at Ganapati Chowk in Pune's Lohegaon around 10.30pm on Friday just to spread panic among residents. Senior police inspector Vilas Sonde of the Airport police said, “We have arrested Nitin Kisan Sakat (21), Ganesh Sakharam Ragpasare (19), Avinash Kaluram Madage (22) and Pawan Yuvraj Paithankar (18), all residents of Lohegaon. They do not have any criminal background.” A police team comprising of inspector Mangesh Jagtap and sub-inspector Ravindra Dhaware scanned the entire Lohegaon area after identifying the young men and nabbed them. Sonde said, “We have seized a country-made pistol from them. They bought it from a person in Dhule. Further probe is on.” Sonde said, “Sakat is a student of BA second year while Paithankar is pursuing BA first-year student. Ragpasare is an autorickshaw driver and Madage is unemployed. Parents of all the four arrested youths are casual workers”. He said, “These four youths and a few others gathered for a birthday party around 10.30pm on Friday. The arrested youths told us that they decided to terrify the people of Lohegaon after consuming liquor.” He said, “They first went to Sant Tukaram Mandir Chowk in Lohegaon on their motorcycles and one of them fired two rounds in the air. They issued threats to residents and left the spot. Then they went to Ganapati Chowk, where one of them fired another round in the air".

Pune: Four arrested for opening fire at different spots in Lohegaon
"Almighty Started Sweeping His Broom": Arvind Kejriwal At Gujarat Rally
Ndtv | 7 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:41 pm
Ndtv
7 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:41 pm

Arvind Kejriwal asked the people assembled to give him a chance. (File)Bhavnagar: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said God will cause a miracle by sweeping the broom, the Aam Aadmi Party's election symbol, and catapult his party to power in Gujarat, where the two-phase Assembly polls are scheduled for December 1 and 5.When the "pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom", the Aam Aadmi Party national convener claimed while addressing a roadshow in Bhavnagar in the poll-bound state."In all of Gujarat, a heavy storm of change is brewing. The entire state has stood up. Some miracle is going to happen this time. It is said in Bhagavadgita that whenever the pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom. The Almighty has started sweeping his broom," Mr Kejriwal said.He said people getting zero electricity bills for the usage of 24-hour electricity, as part of AAP's poll promise of not charging for 300 units of power, would be the "magic" people will experience once his party forms government in Gujarat."This is magic. This 24-hour, zero-electricity bill is magic. And only Kejriwal knows how to perform that magic. No other party can perform this magic. I have been specially blessed by the Almighty and this can only be done by Mr Kejriwal and no other leader," he said.He said the Bharatiya Janata Party had done nothing for the state in its 27-year rule and voting for the opposition Congress was futile as its legislators would defect to the ruling party post-elections.Mr Kejriwal asked the people assembled at the roadshow to give him a chance to see what can be done in five years, adding they could "throw us out" if promises are not fulfilled."Today, people are suffering due to inflation. They are unable to survive. I will give you relief from inflation. After the formation of our government, I will pay your electricity bill from March 1," he said.Mr Kejriwal said women above the age of 18 will get Rs 1,000 per month as an honorarium, while youth will get Rs 3,000 as an unemployment allowance till they land a job."If you want to keep your children unemployed, you want to be abused, then you vote for them (BJP). This has been going on for 27 years. But if you want employment for your children, then vote for AAP," he asserted.Slamming the ruling BJP, he said frequent exam paper leaks in major competitive exams meant there was the involvement of big leaders."All paper leaks since 2015 will be probed and these big leaders will go to jail. We will completely eliminate the atmosphere of fear in the business world. We will create an environment to do business with courage and peace. We will give every businessman the respect they deserve," he said.Mr Kejriwal said an AAP government in the state would be free from corruption, and Value Added Tax and other pending refunds will be paid within six months (of coming to power).PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Goods and Services Tax will be simplified, he added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayRow Over Karnataka Chief Minister's Border Remark Intensifies

"Almighty Started Sweeping His Broom": Arvind Kejriwal At Gujarat Rally

Gujarat Political News

AAP to record historic victory in Gujarat polls, become a national party: Arvind Kejriwal
Times of India | 11 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:20 pm
Times of India
11 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:20 pm

NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal asserted on Saturday that his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will record a "historic victory" in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls and become a "national" political party. Congratulating the party workers on the 10th anniversary of the AAP's foundation day, Kejriwal said the party has created "many histories" in Indian politics since it came into existence on November 26, 2012 and become "a new hope" for the people of the country. "The Aam Aadmi Party was formed 10 years ago on this day. In these 10 years, the party created many histories in Indian politics with the immense love of the public and the hard work of the workers," Kejriwal, the national convenor of the party, said in a series of tweets. The AAP has offered a new hope to the people of the country and gained their trust, he said. "With yet another historic victory, the AAP is going to become a national party very soon," he said. Riding high on its stupendous victory in the Punjab Assembly polls earlier this year, the AAP is betting big in poll-bound Gujarat. It has fielded candidates in all 182 Assembly constituencies in the BJP-ruled state. Till the 2017 Assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress were the main contenders in Gujarat. With the AAP joining the fray with its high-decibel campaign, the state is set to witness a three-cornered poll contest this time. The Kejriwal-led party is hoping to gain its foothold in the state by winning several seats in the polls to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. According to rules, a political party gets the status of a "State Party" if it secures 6 per cent of the votes polled and two seats in a legislative assembly. If a party gets the status of a "State Party" in four states, it automatically becomes a "National Party". The AAP is recognised as a "State Party" in Delhi, Punjab and Goa. If it secures 6 per cent of the votes polled and two seats in Gujarat, it will earn the tag of a "National Party".

AAP to record historic victory in Gujarat polls, become a national party: Arvind Kejriwal
Arvind Kejriwal's Reply To Yogi Adityanath's "This Specimen" Comment
Ndtv | 12 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 06:50 pm
Ndtv
12 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 06:50 pm

New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party boss Arvind Kejriwal today shared a video of BJP's star campaigner Yogi Adityanath calling him "a sympathiser of terrorism" during a poll rally in Gujarat, and pitched himself as someone who stands for "development" as against the BJP's "politics of abuses and hooliganism"."If you want dirty abuses, hooliganism, corruption, or dirty politics, then vote for them. If you want schools, hospitals, electricity, water, roads, then vote for me," the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in Hindi, retweeting a video which his UP counterpart had captioned: "This specimen from the Aam Aadmi Party who has come from Delhi is actually a sympathiser of terrorism."अगर गंदी गाली गलौज चाहिए, गुंडागर्दी चाहिए, भ्रष्टाचार चाहिए, गंदी राजनीति चाहिए तो इनको वोट दे देना। अगर स्कूल, अस्पताल, बिजली, पानी, सड़कें चाहिए तो मुझे वोट दे देना। https://t.co/kNtrOR2azB— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 26, 2022The AAP, buoyed by its victory early this year in Punjab, has mounted a high-decibel campaign to challenge the BJP in Gujarat where it's been in power for 27 years, including PM Narendra Modi's 13 years as chief minister. Pitching a former TV news anchor Isudan Gadhvi, as the AAP chief ministerial candidate, Mr Kejriwal has spent weeks in Gujarat speaking of "development" besides making appeals to the BJP's core Hindutva voter with demands such as Hindu gods' images on  currency notes. The Congress, which increased its vote share in 2017, has been running a lowkey campaign — it calls that a strategy. It refuses to see the election as a three-way contest, dismissing AAP as "just hype". The BJP, too, sees the contest as a direct fight with the Congress.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comYet, the BJP has gone all-out and deployed its big guns, including the hardline Hindutva icon Yogi Adityanath, in the campaign. And the campaign has taken a turn towards the BJP's primal appeal, with Amit Shah saying "rioters were taught a lesson in 2002", and Yogi Adityanath, too, calling rivals "opponents of Lord Ram". In the video that Mr Kejriwal shared, Yogi Adityanath said that the AAP leader had "opposed the construction of Ram Temple, and even sought proof for the Indian Army's surgical strike in Pakistan". He said corruption and terrorism are "the same thing".

Arvind Kejriwal's Reply To Yogi Adityanath's "This Specimen" Comment
Houses Demolished, This Coastal Gujarat Fishing Community Questions Timing
Ndtv | 16 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 02:37 pm
Ndtv
16 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 02:37 pm

"Are we anti-nationals that our houses have to be demolished?" asks Vaishali.Jakhau (Gujarat): Standing outside her makeshift home, Vaishali Mangale is at a loss to understand why around 300 houses, huts, and godowns at the Jakhau harbour were demolished by authorities just ahead of polls in Gujarat for being "unauthorised" constructions.The Jakhau harbour, 120 km from Bhuj town in Kutch district, is part of the Abdasa Assembly constituency where polling will be held on December 1 in the first of the two-phase elections for the 182-member House.The issue of restoration of Jakhau Harbour, a major source of economic activity in the area, is an issue that the opposition has been harping on to target the BJP.The water crisis in the region, especially getting water from Narmada, is also a major poll plank of various political parties in the arid Kutch region.The Abdasa constituency, a stronghold of Congress, is now with the BJP after sitting Congress MLA Pradhyuman Sinh Jadeja switched to the saffron camp in 2020.A fish trader, who did not wish to be named, feels razing homes with bulldozers is more of a symbolic action than an administrative decision."The bulldozer politics is symbolic of sending a message to a particular community. The demolition of structures along the coastline has a general pattern," he said."Why was the time - just ahead of the polls - chosen for demolition?" Political analyst Hemant Shah said the demolitions were carried out to consolidate Hindu votes. "Demolishing some Hindu property during this exercise was aimed at projecting the government as being impartial," he added."Are we anti-nationals that our houses have to be demolished, and we have to be thrown out?" asks Vaishali.The district administration and the ruling BJP refuted the bulldozer politics claims, and said the demolition of illegal structures was necessary for national security."The demolitions were not undertaken suddenly. Eviction notices were sent to them last year, but they kept on building structures due to which there was no clear visibility of the coastline, which is very important for national security. The structures were demolished keeping in mind the national security," Superintendent of Police, Kutch (West), Saurabh Singh told PTI.The district administration, as part of state-wide operations in coastal areas of the state, including Porbandar and Dwarka, had demolished illegal structures considered a threat to national security.Mr Jadeja, the BJP candidate, said once the elections are over, the problems of the fishermen community will be looked into. "We are considering giving them land two kilometers from Jakhau harbour. The allegations that it (demolition) has been done to bully the minorities are baseless and politically motivated," he told PTI.A total of 10 candidates including BJP's Mr Jadeja, Mamad Jung Jat of the Congress and Vasantbhai Khetani of the AAP are in the fray.The constituency has a total of 2,49,484 voters, of whom around 11.7 per cent are from the minority community. The Scheduled Castes(SC) community accounts for about 14 per cent.Mr Jadeja is from the Kshatriya community and was the two-time Congress MLA from the constituency before switching over to the BJP in 2020. For him, the independents from the Kshatriya community and internal fighting within the BJP could pose some trouble.For the Congress, the AAP's entry is a threat, as it is wary that it might eat into the opposition space.In areas such as Abdasa, the work for the pipeline for the canal connecting it with the Narmada Main Canal (NMC) through Kutch Branch Canal is yet to start, thus leaving the entire region yearning for water.The fishermen of Jakhau recently submitted a memorandum to Kutch district collector, drawing his attention to people living in the open after their homes and huts were demolished during the demolition drive last month, citing coastal security."Our hometown is in Valsad, but we stay in Jakhau for nearly 10 months of the year as the catch is excellent in this area," a fisherman and Vaishali's husband Rajesh Mangale said."Industrial pollution has destroyed marine ecology in coastal areas, but these demolitions have put our lives and livelihood at stake. The bulldozers demolished our homes and our future." said Osman Gani of the National Fishworkers Forum.Fishermen and traders from coastal districts like Valsad, Jamnagar, Dwarka, and Amreli operate from Jakhau as industrialisation and chemical pollution along the coastline in their areas destroyed marine ecology, leading to depletion in fish stock.The Jakhau harbour provides livelihood to 10,000 fishermen and 12,000 fish traders, Mr Gani said. Around 1,500 fishing boats and trawlers also operate in the area every year, he added."The entire trade was stopped for nearly a month, leading to a loss of Rs 200 crore. In winter, the fishing business is generally on a decline. We are yet to come out of our losses, and the government is asking us to vacate the area. If we leave this area, we will be completely out of business, and families will starve," Jakhau Bandar Fishermen and Boat Association president Abdullah Shah said.Since the demolitions, fishermen and traders have set up makeshift homes and makeshift cold storages with tarpaulins and bamboo roofs and are determined not to leave the area until the government offers a suitable alternative arrangement.Mr Gani did not favour the move to set up a fishermen's colony two kilometres from the coastline, saying it was impractical. "Taking fishermen and traders two km from the coastline is like taking fish out of water and killing them. This proposition is impractical and will lead to huge losses for the fishing industry," he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comKutch district Congress president Yajuvendra Sinh Jadeja alleged that the government failed to protect the interests of fishermen due to petty politics. "The government should have made alternative arrangements for the fishermen and traders,"he said. (This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayHow To Track FIFA World Cup

Houses Demolished, This Coastal Gujarat Fishing Community Questions Timing
Winning Gujarat: Building emotional connect with voters is key to succeeding in the state
The Indian Express | 19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am
The Indian Express
19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am

The assembly election in Gujarat is likely to shape the future course of Indian politics: It is going to test the Congress’s resolve towards electoral revival, show whether the Aam Aadmi Party’s attempt to expand its footprint is yielding results and whether Brand Modi and Hindutva remain valuable electoral capital for the BJP. Of course, caste-based social engineering is all too prevalent in Gujarat. However, there are a set of factors related to emotional connections that play an important role in influencing election outcomes.The first such factor is “Brand Modi”. The image of PM Modi is synonymous with Gujarati pride. His presence as the prime minister has created a sub-nationalist assertion within the broader framework of Indian nationalism in Gujarat. This emotional thread is going to shape the election outcome more than any organisational or party-centred efforts. The image of Modi is omnipresent — in the media, in rallies, and imprinted on development initiatives promoted by the Centre. It is talked about in the tribal areas of the Dangs as well as in cosmopolitan cities including Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The narrative around Brand Modi has been contested by the Opposition, of course, but it hardly figures in the conversation or does not seem powerful enough to dent the electoral capital it has generated.A second factor is the “Hindutva aspiration” that provides an emotional basis for political connection. The BJP’s efforts to enhance Hindu pride by constructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya, renovation of the Kashi-Vishwanath temple corridor, and other mega symbols of Hindutva pride have a resonance on the ground. The BJP’s ability to do cultural politics is unmatched; its impact in reshaping hearts and minds is often ignored by political analysts. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal seems to have recognised the import of this aspect, which is evident in his attempts to carve out a niche within this space by demanding that currency notes carry images of Hindu deities, Lakshmi and Ganesha. However, for cultural politics around Hindutva symbols to work, mere hyperbolic assertions are not enough; continuous and deep groundwork is needed for the claims and slogans to sound authentic.A third invisible factor is the political kinship within the cooperative movement. Politics and the cooperative movement were always connected. However, the BJP has now replaced the Congress as the dominant player in the cooperative movement, which provides cadres and influencers to political parties. The BJP rose in Gujarat by weakening the Congress’s influence among the cooperatives. As the Union minister for cooperatives, Amit Shah has been engaging with producers, the market and mandi.A fourth factor that is enabling electoral mobilisations is linked to aspirations — one related to development and the other to dhanda (business). All political parties compete to tap these aspirations but the BJP, by projecting itself as the party of government through its rhetoric on “double-engine”, has been way ahead of its rivals. The AAP is an opening for newcomers interested in a political career — most civil society activists see their political future in it. In fact, civil society actors are helping the AAP build the party organisation. The BJP and Hindutva groups too have made deep inroads among NGOs and sewabhavi groups. Interestingly, the AAP seems to be winning over Congress sympathisers. Earlier, the impression was that the rise of AAP would hurt the BJP.A strong party organisation is necessary to mobilise people around these factors. The BJP political machine is more powerful and efficient than any other. It is good at pooling resources and using all the inputs at its disposal to maximise outcomes. A good mix of seasoned organisers and mass leaders run the party election machine and the campaign. In contrast, the AAP campaign is focused on Arvind Kejriwal while the Congress campaign revolves around state leaders. The absence of Rahul Gandhi in the campaign is mentioned by Congress cadres and sympathisers. The BJP has sought to diminish the anti-incumbency sentiment by replacing a large number of sitting MLAs, including senior leaders.However, elections have a logic of their own and are prone to throw up small and big surprises. In Gujarat, what factors influence the outcome are worth watching.The writer is professor, Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad

Winning Gujarat: Building emotional connect with voters is key to succeeding in the state
  • Gujarat elections 2022: Winning seats & minds for decades
  • Times of India

    These Gujarat politicians have been victorious not merely in elections, but also in earning the confidence of generations of voters. Himanshu Kaushik profiles leaders who have won more than three assembly polls since the state was carved out over 60 years ago. Mohansinh Rathava (10):This septuagenarian tribal strongman won his first assembly election in 1972. He represented the ST-reserved Jetpur and Chhota Udepur seats for 10 consecutive elections on Congress tickets. Earlier this month he joined the BJP. His son Rajendrasinh has received the BJP ticket for the 2022 poll. Rathava’s record of 10 assembly-election wins is unsurpassed. (Won: 1972, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2007, 2012, 2017) Ashok Bhatt (8):Ashok Bhatt, who held key positions in successive BJP governments, won polls eight times from his citadel, Khadia in Ahmedabad’s old city. His first victory came in 1975 and he handled several portfolios through his career. In 2008, he was appointed the assembly speaker and held that post till his death in 2010. His son Bhushan lacks Bhatt’s Midas touch, losing once from Khadia. (Won: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007) Stalwarts with 7 winsChhotu Vasava:A fiery leader of the Bhil tribal community, Vasava, 77, is looking for his eighth straight win from the Jhagadia seat in Bharuch district, which he has represented from 1990 either on a JD or BTP ticket. Vasava has been a fierce advocate of rights of tribal communities and his fief has remained unbreachable for over three decades. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Pabubha Manek:This 66-year-old Mer community strongman is perhaps the only MLA to have won the Dwarka constituency as Congress, BJP, and independent candidate. He is seeking his eighth consecutive stint from the same seat. He was disqualified in 2019 by the HC for improper election affidavit. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Amarsinh Chaudhary:Gujarat’s first adivasi CM, Chaudhary headed the state government between 1985 and 1989. He quit a government job to win his first assembly election in 1970. He represented Radhanpur, Khedbrahma, and Vyara seats. Chaudhary also led the state unit of the Congress. He died in 2004. His son Tushar has been fielded from Khedbrahma by the Congress. (Won: 1972, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1995, 1998, 2002) Keshubhai Patel:The Patidar leader from Saurashtra won seven elections beginning 1975. His victories came on the tickets of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the BJP, as well as on that of the Gujarat Parivartan Party which he founded in 2012. A member of the RSS since the 1940s. Patel was instrumental in the growth of the BJP in Gujarat. He was the CM twice. He succumbed to Covid complications at 92. (Won: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2012) Vajubhai Vala:He was made the Rajkot mayor in the 1980s. He won his first assembly election in 1985 from Rajkot and never lost. He vacated the seat in 2002 to pave the way for Narendra Modi to contest his first assembly election. Vala, 75, has been a minister and the speaker. He was made Karnataka’s governor in 2014. (Won: 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Victory streak over 6 pollsMadhavsinh Solanki:He ran the KHAM (Kshatriya Harijan Adivasi Muslim) social experiment in the state. He has been the CM and a central minister. His 1985 feat of leading the Congress to win 149 of the 182 seats remains unbroken. (Won: 1962, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990) Vitthal Radadiya:He won assembly polls six times and general elections twice. He represented Dhoraji in the assembly and Porbandar in the Lok Sabha. He moved from the BJP to the RJP to the Congress and again to the BJP. He died in 2019 of cancer. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Nitin Patel:He has been winning assembly elections since 1995 and has been a sixterm MLA. He has held several positions in successive BJP governments, including the post of deputy CM under Vijay Rupani. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2007, 2012, 2017) Mangubhai Patel:Beginning 1990, the tribal leader from south Gujarat won six consecutive assembly elections. While he won five times from Navsari, he entered the assembly for the sixth time from Gandevi. Patel held several portfolios in BJP governments and was the speaker too. He is now the MP governor. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Madhu Shrivastava:He is contesting as an independent candidate this time after being denied a ticket by the BJP. He has a sizable personal following in Vadodara and the surrounding areas and has been winning since 1995. Shrivastava’s combative style often ignites controversies, but has resulted in no major setback. (Won: 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Prevailing in 5 fightsAmit Shah:Union home minister Amit Shah has been camping in Gujarat for the past several weeks to oversee the BJP’s poll campaign. Born in Mumbai in 1964, he spent his childhood in his ancestral town of Mansa. He has been elected to the assembly from Sarkhej and Naranpura. He contested his first Lok Sabha election in 2019 from the prestigious Gandhinagar constituency. (Won: 1997 bypoll, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Chimanbhai Patel:He was the CM of both Congress and Janata Dal governments in different tenures. He is credited with successfully engineering the Kokam (Koli Kanbi Musim) social experiment to ride into power. Patel won assembly elections from Sankheda and Unjha. He died in 1994. (Won: 1967, 1972, 1980, 1985, 1990) Nimaben Acharya:Barring the 1998 assembly election, Acharya has won all her fights since 1995. A Kutch native, she has been a successful candidate for both the Congress and the BJP. She and her husband switched over from the Congress to the BJP in 2007. Acharya became the first woman speaker in September last year. She has not received the BJP ticket this time. (Won: 1995, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Champions 4 timesNarendra Modi:He contested his first election in February 2002 from Rajkot-II after being sworn in as the CM in October 2001. He won 2002, 2007, and 2012 assembly polls from Maninagar. His 14-year tenure as the CM is the longest in Gujarat. In 2014, he won Varanasi and Vadodara Lok Sabha seats and became the PM. In the 2019 general election, Varanasi reelected him. (Won: 2002 bypoll, 2002, 2007 and 2012) Anandiben Patel:She is the governor of Uttar Pradesh. She has won four assembly elections from Mandal, Patan, and Ghatlodia seats. She became the state’s first woman CM after Modi became the PM. She was replaced in the face of the Patidar reservation agitation. (Won: 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012)

  • "This Is The Lesson": A Owaisi Lashes Out At Amit Shah For Gujarat 2002 Remark
  • Ndtv

    The AIMIM will field 14 candidates in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.New Delhi: Soon after Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a Gujarat election rally made his controversial "taught a lesson to rioters in 2002" comment, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at him, saying his 'lessons' were in fact about letting criminals walk free.While addressing a public gathering at Juhapura, the largest Muslim neighbourhood in Gujarat, the AIMIM chief said, "Amit Shah today gave a statement during a public rally that they taught a lesson to the rioters of Gujarat in 2002 and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) established permanent peace in the state. I want to tell the MP of this (Ahmedabad) constituency, Amit Shah, that the lesson you taught in 2002 was that Bilkis' rapists will be freed by you. The lesson you taught was that you will free the murderers of Bilkis' three-year-old daughter. You also taught us that Ahsan Jafri can be killed."In an impassioned speech, he also referred to the Gulbarg Society massacre, and the burning down of the Best Bakery in the 2002 communal frenzy that claimed over a thousand lives."How many of your lessons should we remember, Mr Amit Shah? But remember, teaching lessons is nothing, peace is strengthened when the wronged are given justice," he said.2002 mein Kaunsa sabaq sikhaya tha @amitshah? Naroda Patiya ka sabaq? Gulberg ka sabaq? Best Bakery ka sabaq? Bilqis Bano ka sabaq? pic.twitter.com/aV3hWC2Ab4— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) November 25, 2022Taking aim at the Home Minister, Mr Owaisi said that people forget when they get power that it has never always been with anyone. "Power will never be with any one person. One day, power will be snatched from everyone. Drunk on power, the Home Minister is today saying that we taught a lesson. What lesson did you teach? You became notorious in the entire country. What lesson did you teach that there were communal riots in Delhi?" he said.Amit Shah had on Thursday said that those responsible for the communal riots in Gujarat were "taught such a lesson" that the state has been peaceful for 22 years."During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, Congress had strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society," Mr Shah said in Mahudha town of Kheda district."There have been many riots in Bharuch, curfew, violence. There was no room for development in Gujarat because of the chaos. In 2002, they tried to indulge in communal violence... we taught them such a lesson, we put them in jail. It's been 22 years, we have not put a curfew even once. BJP has done the work to bring the peace to a land that saw frequent communal riots," he said.The AIMIM will field 14 candidates in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Gujarat assembly elections are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.Voting for 89 assembly seats will take place in the first phase, while for the remaining 93 assembly seats, voting will be held in the second phase of polling.

  • BJP will surpass its previous best in Gujarat polls: Union home minister Shah
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: Union home minister Amit Shah has claimed that BJP will win the coming Gujarat elections by a record margin, surpassing its previous best performances - both in terms of seats and vote share. "We shall break all our past records and and return to office once again with a thumping majority," Shah said. In an exclusive conversation with TOI here, Shah identified PM Narendra Modi's popularity and performance of the BJP governments as the main reasons for his confidence. He said while Modi enjoys goodwill everywhere, people of Gujarat share a special bond with him and that has grown stronger because of his performance as the PM. Battle of Gujarat is between Congress and BJP, says Amit ShahRead Also‘Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again’Union home minister Amit Shah, who has been campaigning extensively in Gujarat, is confident that the performance of successive BJP governments in the state and the growing affection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help BJP score an easy win there. In an exclusive conversation with TOI’sThe home minister dismissed the risk of "anti-incumbency" hurting BJP, which has been in office in Gujarat for 27 years now. "Our track record speaks for itself," he said, adding "pro-incumbency" is the dominant sentiment in the state. He noted that many issues BJP has raised since its Jan Sangh days have been resolved by the Modi government. Making light of AAP's challenge, Shah said BJP's fight in the Gujarat polls was still with Congress, which despite its problems consistently held on to a sizeable vote share in the state. The home minister was confident that AAP's 'politics of freebies' would not wash with Gujarat voters.

  • BJP will surpass its previous best in Gujarat polls: Amit Shah
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: Union home minister Amit Shah has claimed that BJP will win the coming Gujarat elections by a record margin, surpassing its previous best performances - both in terms of seats and vote share. "We shall break all our past records and and return to office once again with a thumping majority," Shah said. In an exclusive conversation with TOI in Ahmedabad, Shah identified PM Narendra Modi's popularity and performance of the BJP governments as the main reasons for his confidence. He said while Modi enjoys goodwill everywhere, people in Gujarat share a special bond with him and that has grown stronger because of his performance as the PM. The home minister dismissed the risk of "anti-incumbency" hurting BJP, which has been in office in Gujarat for 27 years now. "Our track record speaks for itself," he said, adding "pro-incumbency" is the dominant sentiment in the state. He noted that many issues BJP has raised since its Jan Sangh days have been resolved by the Modi government. Making light of AAP's challenge, Shah said BJP's fight in the Gujarat polls was still with Congress, which despite its problems has consistently held on to a sizeable vote-share in the state. The home minister was confident that AAP's 'politics of freebies' would not wash with Gujarat voters.

  • ‘High anti-incumbency in state’: Why PM, Shah making repeated trips to Gujarat, asks Gehlot
  • The Indian Express

    Questioning the “repeated trips” made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Gujarat, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said he had never seen such high anti-incumbency, as seen in the poll-bound state.Addressing an election meeting in Ahmedabad, the “Prime Minister has left all work in Delhi — which is his main job — and is here in Gujarat. What is the need for him to make repeated trips. Both Prime Minister and (home minister) Amit Shah are camping in the state.”Gehlot was speaking at Dariapur in Ahmedabad where sitting MLA Gyasuddin Sheikh is contesting.“You all are seeing what they are talking about in their speeches,” he said adding that unemployment and inflation were adversely affecting people in Gujarat. “I have never seen such high anti-incumbency, as I am seeing now in Gujarat. People are opposing them. They are not going to their meetings, because they have not done any work in the last five years,” the Rajasthan CM said adding that the BJP was forced to change its entire Cabinet last year.The Rajasthan CM said the anti-incumbency wave is bigger than 2017 elections, when congress fell a few seats short of forming the government in Gujarat. “If Congress wins this election, the Centre and Modji will get a shock. They will realise that they have lost due to high inflation and they will take steps to reduce prices. The entire country will benefit,” Gehlot said.“In Gujarat, Congress MLAs win. Thereafter horse trading happens and they are taken into BJP. This never used to happen earlier. After Modiji became the prime minister, a new model has come in the country, where elected governments are made to fall— Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka. These are dangers for democracy,” he said. Gehlot pointed out how sitting MLAs have rebelled within the BJP. “They blame the Congress, but they are not able to keep their own house in order.”Gehlot also remembered those who died of hooch tragedy in Ahmedabad and the recent bridge collapse tragedy in Morbi.

Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again: Amit Shah
Times of India | 23 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:40 am
Times of India
23 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:40 am

Union home minister Amit Shah, who has been campaigning extensively in Gujarat, is confident that the performance of successive BJP governments in the state and the growing affection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help BJP score an easy win there. In an exclusive conversation with TOI’s Diwakar and Akhilesh Singh on the campaign trail, he dismissed AAP’s challenge as exaggerated, insisting that Congress continues to be the main challenger but is headed for yet another defeat. Excerpts:What is your assessment on the Gujarat elections?■ The BJP is on a very strong wicket. We shall break all our past records – be it the number of seats or vote percentage – and come to office once again with a thumping majority. You recorded your highest tally – 127 – and highest vote share – 49. 85% – in 2002, the first election fought under Narendra Modi as CM. You hope to surpass that after having been in office for 27 long years?■ Yes. BJP had expressed similar confidence the last time but things did not turn out that way. Congress gave you a real scare and your tally dropped to 99…■ The last polls were an aberration. They were held in the shadow of three intense caste-based movements backed by Congress, which had, working through NGOs it funded, stealthily prepared the background for two years for the campaigns to create divisions among castes. The trick worked in the immediate run and had an impact on elections. But the antagonism that was manufactured and introduced in Gujarat was alien to Gujarat’s ethos. People quickly saw through the divide-and-win game plan. As a result, we won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats just two years later. BJP has since won most of the elections in the state. We hold 90% of seats in local body polls. Today, the party is in office in all districts and all municipal corporations. This clearly shows that the impact of the divisive politics that Congress introduced has worn off. What happened in 2017 was an exception, it could never be the norm in Gujarat. What else has changed since 2017 to make you so confident?■ A lot of issues that BJP consistently raised since its Jana Sangh days in the 1950s, and which resonated with large sections in Gujarat, have been resolved by Narendra Modi’s government. The end of the special status for J&K, removal of Section 35A, construction of Ram Mandir, ban on triple talaq, and beginning of the process to enact a Uniform Civil Code by setting up a committee and initiatingtalks: all this has found huge traction with the voter here. There is also appreciation of the Modi government’s effective management of Covid-19. Administering 230 crore doses of vaccines is no small feat and this is acknowledged by the people. Then, we have also ensured food security for 80 crore people who had lost their jobs and means of livelihood during the two years of the pandemic. All this has positively impacted the voter in Gujarat. I have personally sensed this on the ground. Our economy is stronger today and we have jumped from 11th to 5th spot in the ranking of global economies. This has also created a favourable impact for the BJP in a state like Gujarat where commerce and industry matters a lot and which is home to a large number of MSMEs. Few will dispute your success in turning Gujarat into a laboratory of your ideology. PM Modi’s popularity is obviously a big factor, while BJP’s organisation here is a well-oiled machine. Your advantages are evident. But what about the fatigue factor and the inevitable yearning for change? It felled the once-powerful CPM government in West Bengal.■ Yes, change is inevitable. It is the way of life and nobody can stop it from happening. But a party can also evolve to accommodate the desire for change. BJP consistently innovates and adapts to accommodate the yearning for change. In fact, the party has very often been the trigger for change. We keep carrying out changes. This gives people the confidence that the party is alive to their aspirations. Why would they seek to change a government which keeps improvising and innovating to satisfy their changing needs? So, you claim the BJP, despite being in power for close to three decades, is still seen as a change agent?■ Yes. BJP is a living organism, it keeps changing. That is what every party needs to do in order to be relevant, in order to survive. Our foundational beliefs never change, but our manner of working keeps changing according to the needs of the people. Our governments also keep innovating and have carried out multi-dimensional and dynamic changes in order to be more effective. Did you drop Vijay Rupani for the same reason?■ No. After Narendrabhai, we have had three chief ministers in Gujarat. First was Anandiben. We have a rule in our party that a member can be a part of electoral politics until the age of 75. And, accordingly, Anandiben was relieved from her post when she was 74 years and 10 months old. She has now been tasked with a different responsibility. … Vijaybhai also completed his five years. Then came Bhupendrabhai. We are fighting elections under his leadership and he will continue as the CM after the polls. We don’t dump people. There is always uncertainty on whether BJP will continue with the incumbent after the polls. In some cases, you did not declare your choice before the polls while faces were projected in other instances. What has Bhupendra Patel, a first-term MLA, done in such a short time that BJP has decided to retain him in the job and the Narendra-Bhupendra combo is being projected as the double engine of growth?■ In the one to one-and-ahalf years that he has been in office, Bhupendrabhai has followed all the norms that Narendrabhai had set. He has speeded up Gujarat’s development while upholding the party’s ideology. The results of his work can already be seen; even at the grassroots level. Gujarat’s share in overall exports has risen to 30%. Among the states, it has the largest share of MSMEs and startups registered in the past one year. It has successfully implemented the ‘One nation, one ration card’ scheme. The soft-spoken CM has also displayed firmness in dealing with illegal encroachments. And, there has been no controversy about him. Would you agree that playing the challenger is easier? When you are the incumbent, you are forced to play defence.■ As I had told TOI at the time of the UP polls, antiincumbency is relative. It does not apply to all situations and is dependent on how you have performed in office. We have seen parties winning polls because of pro-incumbency sentiments that their performance generated. And with the type of governance we have provided in Gujarat – 24-hour electricity in every house, road connectivity, business investment, FDI, and high export volume – we have no reason to fear anti-incumbency. The term anti-incumbency was coined during Congress rule for its listless performance. However, under BJP, we have seen the emergence of the concept of ‘pro-incumbency’ and that is the dominant sentiment in Gujarat. Isn’t the Morbi disaster a blot on the state’s performance?■ It was a heart-wrenching tragedy. We all – from PM Narendra Modi to the grassroots BJP worker – feel very sad for the victims. However, we shouldn’t rush to a conclusion just because an election is underway. An administrative inquiry is going on. The high court has also taken cognisance and asked Gujarat Human Rights Commission to look into the matter. The Supreme Court is also cognisant and has shifted all petitions to the HC. Let us wait for the HC’s order. I can assure you that the Gujarat government will accept whatever decision the court takes. There is something puzzling about your campaign. Congress is seen as a reluctant warrior. Its senior leaders are not even campaigning. And yet PM Modi and you keep attacking Congress…■ What you said is true of Congress across the country. Congress has been adrift. It neither has issues nor leadership or a programme. It is a confused party. Yet, the fact remains that Congress has always had a base in Gujarat. Since 1990, they have got at least 30% vote share in every election. That’s why we cannot take them lightly in Gujarat. Our fight is with them. A consistent vote share of 30% translates into one-third of the electorate. Does this not reflect on your failure to win over sections of the society?■ There was a time when the entire country wasn’t with us. Now a large section of the population believes in our vision. We hope that those who are still not supporting us would come around after seeing our work. People say the ‘Gujarat model’ is just hype, a marketing trick: it has only glitter, no substance…■ You can’t see the substance if you have blinkers on. You will be able to see if you take off your goggles of biases and prejudices. What about the criticism that there has been excessive focus on highways and the industrial base, and the social sector has not got adequate attention?■ Another baseless criticism by those blinded by bias and who don’t care to even look at the figures. Gujarat is among the top three states on all parameters. Going back to 2017, the BJP performed poorly in tribal-dominated areas. Are you expecting an improvement this time?■ I am convinced we will do better. . . In every election, we have improved our vote share from tribal areas. And this time I am convinced that we will succeed. There is appreciation in those areas of the way we managed the pandemic; how we have expanded infrastructure and welfare benefits right to the doorsteps of individuals. I am sure people will acknowledge this. The alienation of Patels was another factor. Have they come back to the fold?■ As I said, after 2017 we’ve had two elections. One Lok Sabha, where all sections voted for us and we swept. We have also won the polls forlocal bodies. This could not have been possible without the support of all sections. Everyone has understood that what Congress did in the couple of years preceding 2017 was low-level politics which resulted in the disruption of mutual harmony. Is Hardik Patel’s coming to BJP a testament to this?■ It is not about an individual. It is about the masses… That explains everything. It is said that your principal rival is AAP and you are attacking Congress because you want to shore them up so that there is a split in anti-BJP votes.■ Every party has the right to fight an election. But if you look at Gujarat’s political history, it has largely been a bipolar polity and a third party has never been successful. Be it Chimanbhai Patel, Shankarsinh Vaghela, or Keshubhai Patel, Gujarat has always seen a two-party fight. I feel that the battle is between BJP and Congress. Congress has a lot of baggage and so it is easy for you to blunt their attack. AAP is a new player in Gujarat and is free of that handicap. Besides, a new player that also casts itself as an underdog has its own appeal. Do you agree?■ This is a never-ending debate. It seems you have made up your mind. I cannot convince you if you have already reached a conclusion and are looking for statements to fit that. Let us wait for the votes to be counted, doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani ho jayega. AAP has unleashed a bagful of freebies. This has worked for them in Delhi and Punjab. Don’t you think this can have an impact in Gujarat as well?■ They made similar promises in Uttarakhand and in Uttar Pradesh; in Maharashtra too. People are not fools. Gujarat has a budget of Rs 2. 42 lakh crore and the cost of implementing the promises that have been made would come to Rs 3. 6 lakh crore. Do you really think that people cannot see through this? They are smart, trust me. Does your confidence have to do with the ethos of Gujarat which values industry and enterprise?■ I don’t want to get into a meandering debate on this. But the fact is that we have given every home in Gujaratelectricity, toilet and gas cylinder. We have given every poor home an Ayushman Bharat card with health coverage up to Rs 5 lakh. And we have also given free rations as help during Covid-19. As against this, people make promises which are unrealistic and can never be kept. Making promises is one thing but what is crucial for winning people’s trust is whether you keep them. Our track record speaks for itself. There are reports about dissension over distribution of BJP tickets. So much so that you had to camp here to firefight.■ This is not new. But I don’t call it firefighting. Reaching out to a party colleague who is unhappy is not firefighting. It is an act of solidarity and camaraderie for someone who has been with you for years. It is my duty to hear them and assuage their feelings. It takes about 20 years to build a dedicated party worker. If a few of them are unhappy that their claim was not heeded, then it is our duty to put a hand on their shoulder and share their grief. And this is what takes BJP ahead. Many people say that the perception about BJP being the overwhelming frontrunner has its flipside too. It will lead to complacency and low turnout.■ Our booth-level presence is the strongest in Gujarat and our workers maintain constant rapport with people. The people of Gujarat have always participated in elections. I am confident that we will have a good turnout as in all elections, and BJP will score a massive win. Then why give a ticket to Payal Kukrani, whose father was convicted in the Naroda Patia violence?■ But what’s wrong about this? She’s a well-educated young woman; a doctor. She has been a hard-working member of the party. True, her father was convicted and has served his sentence. But what has that got to with the daughter? Does she not have a life of her own? You have pronounced her guilty because she is someone’s daughter. But you would never criticise AAP or NCP for not removing their ministers even when they are behind bars. Isn’t it a case of double standards? You have campaigned extensively, what is the feature of this election that has struck you the most?■ The nation has witnessed good governance under Narendrabhai’s leadership in the last eight years. Narendrabhai’s leadership has won laurels and glory for the country. Simultaneously, BJP’s ideological commitments have also been fulfilled. This has had a very positive impact on the people. Modiji was always loved by the people. But I can seethat the affection for him has grown because of the way he has stabilised the economy and strengthened national security. This is true of the entire country. But people here share a special bond with him because he is from Gujarat. His popularity is at its peak and will help BJP score a record win. What is your assessment of Himachal Pradesh?■ We are coming to office with a thumping majority. Over the years, BJP has made many promises in its manifesto. Some of them have been fulfilled, but others, like the Uniform Civil Code, remain on paper. Even CAA is in limbo because the rules have not been framed.■ You are mistaken. CAA is now the law of the land. It has to be implemented and we will do that… We just have to formulate the rules which we could not do because of the pandemic. We shall start working on this, now that the Covid situation has eased. As far as UCC is concerned, it is not just a part of our manifesto since our inception, the Constituent Assembly also directed the legislatures to enact one at the appropriate time. We are alive to our commitment and the task assigned by the framers of the Constitution. Your decision to ban the PFI has led to a backlash of sorts. We have seen serious terror plots being sought to be executed in Coimbatore and Mangalore.■ All challenges to internal security need to be strongly dealt with. We need to proceed against all such dangers, and while we need to analyse all the factors involved, the fear of risks should not deter us from taking on the threat itself. PFI, in many states, had become a danger to our unity and diversity, and our internal security. We watched them push our youth towards terrorism. I believe that the decision to ban it was correct and was taken at the right time. And if there is going to be any reaction, we have all the means and the intent to quell that. What is your assessment of the situation in J&K? When can we expect assembly polls?■ The entire world knows J&K is in very good shape. So far, investments worth Rs 56,000 crore – the highestever – have been committed in the state. Some 30,000 sarpanches have been elected and are working on local body polls. The roots of democracy have spread and gone deeper. People belonging to the backward classes who had been denied benefits available to their counterparts in other states have now been availing of reservations. Women have got their rights. All languages of J&K have got due recognition. And, for the first time, the public is getting a taste of what development actually means. As far as elections are concerned, the Election Commission has finished delimitation, grievances have been redressed. Now, constituencies have been delineated. Electoral rolls, which were riddled with irregularities, are being checked. The EC will announce the dates once the exercise is over. Very often, the judiciary does not seem to be in sync with what the government considers to be imperative for national security.■ There have been such instances. In our Constitution, the roles and responsibilities of the legislature and the judiciary have been very clearly defined and demarcated. We are keeping a close watch on the developments. We shall see how things move. We hope that everyone, including the judiciary, works within their remit. You have been cast as someone who is trying to impose Hindi. Regional parties have attacked you for this. However, you have also argued for regional languages to be used as a medium of education, including for higher and technical courses. What exactly is your position?■ We have championed the use of all Indian languages since the time of Jana Sangh. I am of the firm opinion that we have been able to utilise only 5% of the country’s intellect and talent as a section considers English as the only suitable medium of education and this prevents large sections from accessing quality education and training. The argument that a child will not get good education if he is not taught in English is rooted in misconception, steeped in bias and contrary to the findings of pedagogical studies. I have nothing against English as a language. But it is established that a child learns better and faster if he is taught in his mother tongue. If he is forced to switch to another language because of the hierarchy drawn by elites, his learning process is disrupted. We should be proud of our languages… We have the oldest language, the oldest grammar and the oldest literature. As I said, I am not opposed to English, but we have an excellent pool of Indian languages, which should not be wasted. It is directly linked to the country’s progress and growth.

Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again: Amit Shah

Gujarat Election News

Paramilitary Jawan On Gujarat Poll Duty Shoots 2 Colleagues With AK-47 Rifle
Ndtv | 7 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:10 pm
Ndtv
7 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:10 pm

Officials at the local hospital where the bodies were kept.Ahmedabad: Two paramilitary jawans forces were shot dead and two others injured in the firing by one of their colleagues near Porbandar in Gujarat, where they were stationed for election duty ahead of next month's assembly polls.The men were not on active duty when they got into a fight in the evening that escalated and shots were fired from an AK-47 rifle, it is learnt. They were part of an India Reserve Battalion (IRB) from Manipur and deputed in Gujarat besides the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), said Porbandar Collector and District Election Officer AM Sharma. It's being investigated as to what led to the clash.The two injured jawans — one shot in the stomach, the other in the leg — were taken to the Probandar general hospital from where they were being shifted to a hospital in Jamnagar, about 150 km away, for advanced treatment.The police report identified the accused as Constable S Inauchashingh, and the two men killed as jawans Thoiba Singh and Jitendra Singh. The injured are constables Chorajit and Rohikana. All of them belong to Manipur.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThey were staying inside a cyclone centre in Tukda Gosa village, about 25 km from Porbandar.Voting in the Porbandar district will be held on December 1 in the first phase, while the second phase is on December 5, and results on the 8th.

Paramilitary Jawan On Gujarat Poll Duty Shoots 2 Colleagues With AK-47 Rifle
  • On poll duty in Gujarat’s Porbandar, 2 CAPF jawans killed, 2 injured in fratricidal firing
  • The Indian Express

    Two jawans of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) were shot dead and two others injured during a clash that erupted between the personnel in Gujarat’s Porbandar district, where they were posted for election duty.The incident took place around 7 pm at a cyclone relief centre at Tukada Gosa near Nava Bandar that is currently being used as a shelter for the visiting CAPF jawans.“They had come to provide security during the upcoming elections. There was internal firing and two died while two others were injured,” A M Sharma, district collector and district election officer for Porbandar, told The Indian Express.“I am currently at the hospital where the two injured persons are being treated. They are safe,” Sharma added.The injured were brought to Bhavsinghji hospital at Porbandar. When asked about the reason behind the firing, the official said the cause was still being investigated.

  • 2 CRPF jawans on poll duty killed in Gujarat
  • Times of India

    NEW DELHI: Two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers were killed and two others were injured after their colleague opened fire at them in Gujarat's Porbandar. Porbandar collector and district election officer, A M Sharma, said all the jawans connected to the incident belong to a CRPF battalion from Manipur. They were sent here by the Election Commission ahead of the next month's Gujarat assembly elections, he added. Voting in the Porbandar district will be held on December 1 in the first phase of the state polls. The jawans were staying inside a cyclone centre in Tukda Gosa village, about 25 km from Porbandar. The centre is being used as a shelter for the visiting CRPF jawans. "A jawan opened fire at his colleagues with his assault rifle over some unknown issue on Saturday evening. While two jawans died on the spot, two others were injured. They were shifted to a hospital in Jamnagar. One of them received a bullet injury in his stomach and the other was hit on his leg," Sharma said, adding that further investigation will be carried out by the police. (With inputs from PTI)

Winning Gujarat: Building emotional connect with voters is key to succeeding in the state
The Indian Express | 19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am
The Indian Express
19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am

The assembly election in Gujarat is likely to shape the future course of Indian politics: It is going to test the Congress’s resolve towards electoral revival, show whether the Aam Aadmi Party’s attempt to expand its footprint is yielding results and whether Brand Modi and Hindutva remain valuable electoral capital for the BJP. Of course, caste-based social engineering is all too prevalent in Gujarat. However, there are a set of factors related to emotional connections that play an important role in influencing election outcomes.The first such factor is “Brand Modi”. The image of PM Modi is synonymous with Gujarati pride. His presence as the prime minister has created a sub-nationalist assertion within the broader framework of Indian nationalism in Gujarat. This emotional thread is going to shape the election outcome more than any organisational or party-centred efforts. The image of Modi is omnipresent — in the media, in rallies, and imprinted on development initiatives promoted by the Centre. It is talked about in the tribal areas of the Dangs as well as in cosmopolitan cities including Ahmedabad and Vadodara. The narrative around Brand Modi has been contested by the Opposition, of course, but it hardly figures in the conversation or does not seem powerful enough to dent the electoral capital it has generated.A second factor is the “Hindutva aspiration” that provides an emotional basis for political connection. The BJP’s efforts to enhance Hindu pride by constructing the Ram temple in Ayodhya, renovation of the Kashi-Vishwanath temple corridor, and other mega symbols of Hindutva pride have a resonance on the ground. The BJP’s ability to do cultural politics is unmatched; its impact in reshaping hearts and minds is often ignored by political analysts. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal seems to have recognised the import of this aspect, which is evident in his attempts to carve out a niche within this space by demanding that currency notes carry images of Hindu deities, Lakshmi and Ganesha. However, for cultural politics around Hindutva symbols to work, mere hyperbolic assertions are not enough; continuous and deep groundwork is needed for the claims and slogans to sound authentic.A third invisible factor is the political kinship within the cooperative movement. Politics and the cooperative movement were always connected. However, the BJP has now replaced the Congress as the dominant player in the cooperative movement, which provides cadres and influencers to political parties. The BJP rose in Gujarat by weakening the Congress’s influence among the cooperatives. As the Union minister for cooperatives, Amit Shah has been engaging with producers, the market and mandi.A fourth factor that is enabling electoral mobilisations is linked to aspirations — one related to development and the other to dhanda (business). All political parties compete to tap these aspirations but the BJP, by projecting itself as the party of government through its rhetoric on “double-engine”, has been way ahead of its rivals. The AAP is an opening for newcomers interested in a political career — most civil society activists see their political future in it. In fact, civil society actors are helping the AAP build the party organisation. The BJP and Hindutva groups too have made deep inroads among NGOs and sewabhavi groups. Interestingly, the AAP seems to be winning over Congress sympathisers. Earlier, the impression was that the rise of AAP would hurt the BJP.A strong party organisation is necessary to mobilise people around these factors. The BJP political machine is more powerful and efficient than any other. It is good at pooling resources and using all the inputs at its disposal to maximise outcomes. A good mix of seasoned organisers and mass leaders run the party election machine and the campaign. In contrast, the AAP campaign is focused on Arvind Kejriwal while the Congress campaign revolves around state leaders. The absence of Rahul Gandhi in the campaign is mentioned by Congress cadres and sympathisers. The BJP has sought to diminish the anti-incumbency sentiment by replacing a large number of sitting MLAs, including senior leaders.However, elections have a logic of their own and are prone to throw up small and big surprises. In Gujarat, what factors influence the outcome are worth watching.The writer is professor, Govind Ballabh Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad

Winning Gujarat: Building emotional connect with voters is key to succeeding in the state
  • Gujarat elections 2022: Winning seats & minds for decades
  • Times of India

    These Gujarat politicians have been victorious not merely in elections, but also in earning the confidence of generations of voters. Himanshu Kaushik profiles leaders who have won more than three assembly polls since the state was carved out over 60 years ago. Mohansinh Rathava (10):This septuagenarian tribal strongman won his first assembly election in 1972. He represented the ST-reserved Jetpur and Chhota Udepur seats for 10 consecutive elections on Congress tickets. Earlier this month he joined the BJP. His son Rajendrasinh has received the BJP ticket for the 2022 poll. Rathava’s record of 10 assembly-election wins is unsurpassed. (Won: 1972, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2007, 2012, 2017) Ashok Bhatt (8):Ashok Bhatt, who held key positions in successive BJP governments, won polls eight times from his citadel, Khadia in Ahmedabad’s old city. His first victory came in 1975 and he handled several portfolios through his career. In 2008, he was appointed the assembly speaker and held that post till his death in 2010. His son Bhushan lacks Bhatt’s Midas touch, losing once from Khadia. (Won: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007) Stalwarts with 7 winsChhotu Vasava:A fiery leader of the Bhil tribal community, Vasava, 77, is looking for his eighth straight win from the Jhagadia seat in Bharuch district, which he has represented from 1990 either on a JD or BTP ticket. Vasava has been a fierce advocate of rights of tribal communities and his fief has remained unbreachable for over three decades. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Pabubha Manek:This 66-year-old Mer community strongman is perhaps the only MLA to have won the Dwarka constituency as Congress, BJP, and independent candidate. He is seeking his eighth consecutive stint from the same seat. He was disqualified in 2019 by the HC for improper election affidavit. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Amarsinh Chaudhary:Gujarat’s first adivasi CM, Chaudhary headed the state government between 1985 and 1989. He quit a government job to win his first assembly election in 1970. He represented Radhanpur, Khedbrahma, and Vyara seats. Chaudhary also led the state unit of the Congress. He died in 2004. His son Tushar has been fielded from Khedbrahma by the Congress. (Won: 1972, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1995, 1998, 2002) Keshubhai Patel:The Patidar leader from Saurashtra won seven elections beginning 1975. His victories came on the tickets of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and the BJP, as well as on that of the Gujarat Parivartan Party which he founded in 2012. A member of the RSS since the 1940s. Patel was instrumental in the growth of the BJP in Gujarat. He was the CM twice. He succumbed to Covid complications at 92. (Won: 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2012) Vajubhai Vala:He was made the Rajkot mayor in the 1980s. He won his first assembly election in 1985 from Rajkot and never lost. He vacated the seat in 2002 to pave the way for Narendra Modi to contest his first assembly election. Vala, 75, has been a minister and the speaker. He was made Karnataka’s governor in 2014. (Won: 1985, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Victory streak over 6 pollsMadhavsinh Solanki:He ran the KHAM (Kshatriya Harijan Adivasi Muslim) social experiment in the state. He has been the CM and a central minister. His 1985 feat of leading the Congress to win 149 of the 182 seats remains unbroken. (Won: 1962, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1985, 1990) Vitthal Radadiya:He won assembly polls six times and general elections twice. He represented Dhoraji in the assembly and Porbandar in the Lok Sabha. He moved from the BJP to the RJP to the Congress and again to the BJP. He died in 2019 of cancer. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Nitin Patel:He has been winning assembly elections since 1995 and has been a sixterm MLA. He has held several positions in successive BJP governments, including the post of deputy CM under Vijay Rupani. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2007, 2012, 2017) Mangubhai Patel:Beginning 1990, the tribal leader from south Gujarat won six consecutive assembly elections. While he won five times from Navsari, he entered the assembly for the sixth time from Gandevi. Patel held several portfolios in BJP governments and was the speaker too. He is now the MP governor. (Won: 1990, 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Madhu Shrivastava:He is contesting as an independent candidate this time after being denied a ticket by the BJP. He has a sizable personal following in Vadodara and the surrounding areas and has been winning since 1995. Shrivastava’s combative style often ignites controversies, but has resulted in no major setback. (Won: 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Prevailing in 5 fightsAmit Shah:Union home minister Amit Shah has been camping in Gujarat for the past several weeks to oversee the BJP’s poll campaign. Born in Mumbai in 1964, he spent his childhood in his ancestral town of Mansa. He has been elected to the assembly from Sarkhej and Naranpura. He contested his first Lok Sabha election in 2019 from the prestigious Gandhinagar constituency. (Won: 1997 bypoll, 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012) Chimanbhai Patel:He was the CM of both Congress and Janata Dal governments in different tenures. He is credited with successfully engineering the Kokam (Koli Kanbi Musim) social experiment to ride into power. Patel won assembly elections from Sankheda and Unjha. He died in 1994. (Won: 1967, 1972, 1980, 1985, 1990) Nimaben Acharya:Barring the 1998 assembly election, Acharya has won all her fights since 1995. A Kutch native, she has been a successful candidate for both the Congress and the BJP. She and her husband switched over from the Congress to the BJP in 2007. Acharya became the first woman speaker in September last year. She has not received the BJP ticket this time. (Won: 1995, 2002, 2007, 2012, 2017) Champions 4 timesNarendra Modi:He contested his first election in February 2002 from Rajkot-II after being sworn in as the CM in October 2001. He won 2002, 2007, and 2012 assembly polls from Maninagar. His 14-year tenure as the CM is the longest in Gujarat. In 2014, he won Varanasi and Vadodara Lok Sabha seats and became the PM. In the 2019 general election, Varanasi reelected him. (Won: 2002 bypoll, 2002, 2007 and 2012) Anandiben Patel:She is the governor of Uttar Pradesh. She has won four assembly elections from Mandal, Patan, and Ghatlodia seats. She became the state’s first woman CM after Modi became the PM. She was replaced in the face of the Patidar reservation agitation. (Won: 1998, 2002, 2007, 2012)

  • "This Is The Lesson": A Owaisi Lashes Out At Amit Shah For Gujarat 2002 Remark
  • Ndtv

    The AIMIM will field 14 candidates in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.New Delhi: Soon after Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a Gujarat election rally made his controversial "taught a lesson to rioters in 2002" comment, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi lashed out at him, saying his 'lessons' were in fact about letting criminals walk free.While addressing a public gathering at Juhapura, the largest Muslim neighbourhood in Gujarat, the AIMIM chief said, "Amit Shah today gave a statement during a public rally that they taught a lesson to the rioters of Gujarat in 2002 and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) established permanent peace in the state. I want to tell the MP of this (Ahmedabad) constituency, Amit Shah, that the lesson you taught in 2002 was that Bilkis' rapists will be freed by you. The lesson you taught was that you will free the murderers of Bilkis' three-year-old daughter. You also taught us that Ahsan Jafri can be killed."In an impassioned speech, he also referred to the Gulbarg Society massacre, and the burning down of the Best Bakery in the 2002 communal frenzy that claimed over a thousand lives."How many of your lessons should we remember, Mr Amit Shah? But remember, teaching lessons is nothing, peace is strengthened when the wronged are given justice," he said.2002 mein Kaunsa sabaq sikhaya tha @amitshah? Naroda Patiya ka sabaq? Gulberg ka sabaq? Best Bakery ka sabaq? Bilqis Bano ka sabaq? pic.twitter.com/aV3hWC2Ab4— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) November 25, 2022Taking aim at the Home Minister, Mr Owaisi said that people forget when they get power that it has never always been with anyone. "Power will never be with any one person. One day, power will be snatched from everyone. Drunk on power, the Home Minister is today saying that we taught a lesson. What lesson did you teach? You became notorious in the entire country. What lesson did you teach that there were communal riots in Delhi?" he said.Amit Shah had on Thursday said that those responsible for the communal riots in Gujarat were "taught such a lesson" that the state has been peaceful for 22 years."During the Congress rule in Gujarat (before 1995), communal riots were rampant. Congress used to incite people of different communities and castes to fight against each other. Through such riots, Congress had strengthened its vote bank and did injustice to a large section of the society," Mr Shah said in Mahudha town of Kheda district."There have been many riots in Bharuch, curfew, violence. There was no room for development in Gujarat because of the chaos. In 2002, they tried to indulge in communal violence... we taught them such a lesson, we put them in jail. It's been 22 years, we have not put a curfew even once. BJP has done the work to bring the peace to a land that saw frequent communal riots," he said.The AIMIM will field 14 candidates in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Gujarat assembly elections are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.Voting for 89 assembly seats will take place in the first phase, while for the remaining 93 assembly seats, voting will be held in the second phase of polling.

  • BJP will surpass its previous best in Gujarat polls: Union home minister Shah
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: Union home minister Amit Shah has claimed that BJP will win the coming Gujarat elections by a record margin, surpassing its previous best performances - both in terms of seats and vote share. "We shall break all our past records and and return to office once again with a thumping majority," Shah said. In an exclusive conversation with TOI here, Shah identified PM Narendra Modi's popularity and performance of the BJP governments as the main reasons for his confidence. He said while Modi enjoys goodwill everywhere, people of Gujarat share a special bond with him and that has grown stronger because of his performance as the PM. Battle of Gujarat is between Congress and BJP, says Amit ShahRead Also‘Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again’Union home minister Amit Shah, who has been campaigning extensively in Gujarat, is confident that the performance of successive BJP governments in the state and the growing affection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help BJP score an easy win there. In an exclusive conversation with TOI’sThe home minister dismissed the risk of "anti-incumbency" hurting BJP, which has been in office in Gujarat for 27 years now. "Our track record speaks for itself," he said, adding "pro-incumbency" is the dominant sentiment in the state. He noted that many issues BJP has raised since its Jan Sangh days have been resolved by the Modi government. Making light of AAP's challenge, Shah said BJP's fight in the Gujarat polls was still with Congress, which despite its problems consistently held on to a sizeable vote share in the state. The home minister was confident that AAP's 'politics of freebies' would not wash with Gujarat voters.

  • BJP will surpass its previous best in Gujarat polls: Amit Shah
  • Times of India

    AHMEDABAD: Union home minister Amit Shah has claimed that BJP will win the coming Gujarat elections by a record margin, surpassing its previous best performances - both in terms of seats and vote share. "We shall break all our past records and and return to office once again with a thumping majority," Shah said. In an exclusive conversation with TOI in Ahmedabad, Shah identified PM Narendra Modi's popularity and performance of the BJP governments as the main reasons for his confidence. He said while Modi enjoys goodwill everywhere, people in Gujarat share a special bond with him and that has grown stronger because of his performance as the PM. The home minister dismissed the risk of "anti-incumbency" hurting BJP, which has been in office in Gujarat for 27 years now. "Our track record speaks for itself," he said, adding "pro-incumbency" is the dominant sentiment in the state. He noted that many issues BJP has raised since its Jan Sangh days have been resolved by the Modi government. Making light of AAP's challenge, Shah said BJP's fight in the Gujarat polls was still with Congress, which despite its problems has consistently held on to a sizeable vote-share in the state. The home minister was confident that AAP's 'politics of freebies' would not wash with Gujarat voters.

  • ‘High anti-incumbency in state’: Why PM, Shah making repeated trips to Gujarat, asks Gehlot
  • The Indian Express

    Questioning the “repeated trips” made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Gujarat, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said he had never seen such high anti-incumbency, as seen in the poll-bound state.Addressing an election meeting in Ahmedabad, the “Prime Minister has left all work in Delhi — which is his main job — and is here in Gujarat. What is the need for him to make repeated trips. Both Prime Minister and (home minister) Amit Shah are camping in the state.”Gehlot was speaking at Dariapur in Ahmedabad where sitting MLA Gyasuddin Sheikh is contesting.“You all are seeing what they are talking about in their speeches,” he said adding that unemployment and inflation were adversely affecting people in Gujarat. “I have never seen such high anti-incumbency, as I am seeing now in Gujarat. People are opposing them. They are not going to their meetings, because they have not done any work in the last five years,” the Rajasthan CM said adding that the BJP was forced to change its entire Cabinet last year.The Rajasthan CM said the anti-incumbency wave is bigger than 2017 elections, when congress fell a few seats short of forming the government in Gujarat. “If Congress wins this election, the Centre and Modji will get a shock. They will realise that they have lost due to high inflation and they will take steps to reduce prices. The entire country will benefit,” Gehlot said.“In Gujarat, Congress MLAs win. Thereafter horse trading happens and they are taken into BJP. This never used to happen earlier. After Modiji became the prime minister, a new model has come in the country, where elected governments are made to fall— Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka. These are dangers for democracy,” he said. Gehlot pointed out how sitting MLAs have rebelled within the BJP. “They blame the Congress, but they are not able to keep their own house in order.”Gehlot also remembered those who died of hooch tragedy in Ahmedabad and the recent bridge collapse tragedy in Morbi.

A firebrand Congress MLA’s worry: Division of Thakor votes
The Indian Express | 19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am
The Indian Express
19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am

From waving at villagers from the sunroof of her SUV to riding pillion at a motorbike rally, Congress MLA Geniben Thakor (46) has her own star value in the Bhabhar taluka of Vav Assembly constituency in Gujarat’s Banaskantha district.“I am in my pihar (maternal village) today,” Thakor says in the village of Mera on Thursday morning as a crowd of women, not interested in what the other leaders at the event had to say, suddenly stand up and rush to listen to what their “daughter and sister” had to say. The firebrand Congress MLA plays to the gallery and goes on to say, “Vote for your daughter. I do not need to give a bhashan (lecture) about the BJP or the Congress in Mera village. Either I win or lose but I am always with you in your happiness or sorrow. There is not a single family in the village I have not personally reached out to during the Covid pandemic.”“She is our daughter, the one who has made us proud,” says 80-year-old Chelaba Thakor, a villager who welcomed Geniben. Rekha Thakor, 15, a Class 9 dropout, remembers seeing Geniben a few months ago for the inauguration of the government high school.The MLA is lauded for being one the few vocal Congress legislators during Assembly sessions and for not shying away from raising her voice on women-related issues. She lost the 2012 election to Shankar Chaudhary of the BJP from Vav by more than 72,000 votes but defeated him five years later by a margin of over 6,600 votes. This time, Chaudhary has been shifted to the neighbouring Tharad Assembly constituency and the ruling party has fielded Swarupji Thakor.Geniben, who is contesting her fourth Assembly election, appeals to the villagers about ensuring that Thakor votes do not get divided. “When two candidates from the same community are contesting the election, be careful that the community (Thakor) votes do not get split. You might, under society or community pressure, agree to give five votes to one candidate and three to the other from the family. I am requesting you to not fall under this trap,” says the legislator.Village after village the Congress leader makes a similar appeal. “In 2012 too, the same thing happened. Chandulal (Thakkar) contested on an NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) ticket and was in the third position with over 30,000 votes. He did not win but wasted 20,000 votes from the community and 10,000 votes went to the BJP. If these votes had gone to me, I would not have lost,” says Geniben.Accusing the BJP of attempting to split Thakor votes, she adds, “The BJP had many leaders from our community but giving the mandate (to Swarupji Thakor) overnight is only for the sake of contesting the election. He has nothing to do with the BJP or elections but only to split votes.”Gujarat State Co-operative Agri and Rural Development Bank member Kesardan P Gadhvi, accompanying Geniben on her campaign trail in Bhabhar, joins in. “Let us support and make Geniben and Jagdish Thakor (Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee President) strong by standing with them. Let us not divide the community votes into two and show them that Thakors are not that fool,” he says.

A firebrand Congress MLA’s worry: Division of Thakor votes
Saturday briefing: Latest on Gujarat polls; at World Cup, hosts first to leave party
The Indian Express | 19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am
The Indian Express
19 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 11:50 am

It’s Saturday!Get your weekend started with the top 5 stories from today’s edition: Latest on Gujarat Assembly polls, how Rahul was able to rise above Pappu image; what to watch this weekend; and more. 1) Tensions are running high in Gujarat, where the high-stakes Assembly Election is just a few days away. Here are some of our top stories from the poll-bound state: 🔴 The election is set to see many key contests, but the one for minority votes is rather tepid, with major political parties circumspect about fielding Muslim candidates, as always. The Muslim community, which forms approximately nine per cent of the total population of Gujarat, says in one voice that it is “unexcited” about the polls, as “none of the parties” has ever lived up to their pre-poll promises or reached out to the community.🔴 Meanwhile, Isudan Gadhvi, Aam Aadmi Party’s chief ministerial face in Gujarat, speaks to The Indian Express about why his party won’t take its foot off the pedal. 🔴 We join 63-year-old Amit Popatlal Shah, the former mayor of Ahmedabad, as he hits the campaign trail across the Ellisbridge Assembly constituency. Shah is adamant the AAP won’t make a dent at any of Ahmedabad city’s 16 Assembly seats. He is also confident of personally winning by over 80,000 votes. Once elected, he has vowed to resolve all disputes related to the Disturbed Areas Act in the Paldi area of his constituency.2) In her weekly column, Neerja Chowdhury writes on how Rahul Gandhi was able to rise above the ‘Pappu’ image and strike a chord with his Bharat Jodo Yatra: “It goes without saying that the acid test of Rahul’s yatra will lie in winning elections. But, curiously, he has tried to delink the yatra from electoral gains, not to appear power hungry —but this makes little sense. A political party is nothing if it cannot win elections and deliver on its promises.”3) Days after the Jama Masjid authorities announced and then quickly revoked a ban on ‘unaccompanied women’ visiting the mosque, Yashee writes: “When I heard women would no longer be allowed to enter the mosque alone, I felt a personal loss. The questionable logic of the now-rescinded order aside — it wanted to stop girls who “give time to men, do wrong things”; why not ban the men “taking” time from women? — I was also aghast at how little the order seemed to understand Jama Masjid.”4) Express at FIFA World Cup 2022: Two teams locked against each other with a five-man backline is bound to produce a turgid affair, even if both have adequate attacking prowess. So it was only fathomable that the Netherlands and Ecuador produced a colourless, stifled game, in utter contrast to the vibrant colour around the stadium. Several Dutch fans had arrived in their sparkling orange thobes and keffiyeh, Ecuadorians in their flashy yellow t-shirts. Both eked out a point that saw them level with three points, but the result ended all hopes of hosts Qatar progressing to the last 16, after their defeats to Ecuador and Senegal.🍿 What to watch this weekend 5) This week, Shubhra Gupta reviews the latest Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon-starrer ‘Bhediya’: “Varun Dhawan does a good job of aligning with the tone of the film– the horror is pretty much ‘naam-ke-vaaste’, comedy is what it is interested in and does it well.” (3 ⭐)Express Quiz Until tomorrow, Rahel Philipose

Saturday briefing: Latest on Gujarat polls; at World Cup, hosts first to leave party
Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again: Amit Shah
Times of India | 23 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:40 am
Times of India
23 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:40 am

Union home minister Amit Shah, who has been campaigning extensively in Gujarat, is confident that the performance of successive BJP governments in the state and the growing affection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help BJP score an easy win there. In an exclusive conversation with TOI’s Diwakar and Akhilesh Singh on the campaign trail, he dismissed AAP’s challenge as exaggerated, insisting that Congress continues to be the main challenger but is headed for yet another defeat. Excerpts:What is your assessment on the Gujarat elections?■ The BJP is on a very strong wicket. We shall break all our past records – be it the number of seats or vote percentage – and come to office once again with a thumping majority. You recorded your highest tally – 127 – and highest vote share – 49. 85% – in 2002, the first election fought under Narendra Modi as CM. You hope to surpass that after having been in office for 27 long years?■ Yes. BJP had expressed similar confidence the last time but things did not turn out that way. Congress gave you a real scare and your tally dropped to 99…■ The last polls were an aberration. They were held in the shadow of three intense caste-based movements backed by Congress, which had, working through NGOs it funded, stealthily prepared the background for two years for the campaigns to create divisions among castes. The trick worked in the immediate run and had an impact on elections. But the antagonism that was manufactured and introduced in Gujarat was alien to Gujarat’s ethos. People quickly saw through the divide-and-win game plan. As a result, we won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats just two years later. BJP has since won most of the elections in the state. We hold 90% of seats in local body polls. Today, the party is in office in all districts and all municipal corporations. This clearly shows that the impact of the divisive politics that Congress introduced has worn off. What happened in 2017 was an exception, it could never be the norm in Gujarat. What else has changed since 2017 to make you so confident?■ A lot of issues that BJP consistently raised since its Jana Sangh days in the 1950s, and which resonated with large sections in Gujarat, have been resolved by Narendra Modi’s government. The end of the special status for J&K, removal of Section 35A, construction of Ram Mandir, ban on triple talaq, and beginning of the process to enact a Uniform Civil Code by setting up a committee and initiatingtalks: all this has found huge traction with the voter here. There is also appreciation of the Modi government’s effective management of Covid-19. Administering 230 crore doses of vaccines is no small feat and this is acknowledged by the people. Then, we have also ensured food security for 80 crore people who had lost their jobs and means of livelihood during the two years of the pandemic. All this has positively impacted the voter in Gujarat. I have personally sensed this on the ground. Our economy is stronger today and we have jumped from 11th to 5th spot in the ranking of global economies. This has also created a favourable impact for the BJP in a state like Gujarat where commerce and industry matters a lot and which is home to a large number of MSMEs. Few will dispute your success in turning Gujarat into a laboratory of your ideology. PM Modi’s popularity is obviously a big factor, while BJP’s organisation here is a well-oiled machine. Your advantages are evident. But what about the fatigue factor and the inevitable yearning for change? It felled the once-powerful CPM government in West Bengal.■ Yes, change is inevitable. It is the way of life and nobody can stop it from happening. But a party can also evolve to accommodate the desire for change. BJP consistently innovates and adapts to accommodate the yearning for change. In fact, the party has very often been the trigger for change. We keep carrying out changes. This gives people the confidence that the party is alive to their aspirations. Why would they seek to change a government which keeps improvising and innovating to satisfy their changing needs? So, you claim the BJP, despite being in power for close to three decades, is still seen as a change agent?■ Yes. BJP is a living organism, it keeps changing. That is what every party needs to do in order to be relevant, in order to survive. Our foundational beliefs never change, but our manner of working keeps changing according to the needs of the people. Our governments also keep innovating and have carried out multi-dimensional and dynamic changes in order to be more effective. Did you drop Vijay Rupani for the same reason?■ No. After Narendrabhai, we have had three chief ministers in Gujarat. First was Anandiben. We have a rule in our party that a member can be a part of electoral politics until the age of 75. And, accordingly, Anandiben was relieved from her post when she was 74 years and 10 months old. She has now been tasked with a different responsibility. … Vijaybhai also completed his five years. Then came Bhupendrabhai. We are fighting elections under his leadership and he will continue as the CM after the polls. We don’t dump people. There is always uncertainty on whether BJP will continue with the incumbent after the polls. In some cases, you did not declare your choice before the polls while faces were projected in other instances. What has Bhupendra Patel, a first-term MLA, done in such a short time that BJP has decided to retain him in the job and the Narendra-Bhupendra combo is being projected as the double engine of growth?■ In the one to one-and-ahalf years that he has been in office, Bhupendrabhai has followed all the norms that Narendrabhai had set. He has speeded up Gujarat’s development while upholding the party’s ideology. The results of his work can already be seen; even at the grassroots level. Gujarat’s share in overall exports has risen to 30%. Among the states, it has the largest share of MSMEs and startups registered in the past one year. It has successfully implemented the ‘One nation, one ration card’ scheme. The soft-spoken CM has also displayed firmness in dealing with illegal encroachments. And, there has been no controversy about him. Would you agree that playing the challenger is easier? When you are the incumbent, you are forced to play defence.■ As I had told TOI at the time of the UP polls, antiincumbency is relative. It does not apply to all situations and is dependent on how you have performed in office. We have seen parties winning polls because of pro-incumbency sentiments that their performance generated. And with the type of governance we have provided in Gujarat – 24-hour electricity in every house, road connectivity, business investment, FDI, and high export volume – we have no reason to fear anti-incumbency. The term anti-incumbency was coined during Congress rule for its listless performance. However, under BJP, we have seen the emergence of the concept of ‘pro-incumbency’ and that is the dominant sentiment in Gujarat. Isn’t the Morbi disaster a blot on the state’s performance?■ It was a heart-wrenching tragedy. We all – from PM Narendra Modi to the grassroots BJP worker – feel very sad for the victims. However, we shouldn’t rush to a conclusion just because an election is underway. An administrative inquiry is going on. The high court has also taken cognisance and asked Gujarat Human Rights Commission to look into the matter. The Supreme Court is also cognisant and has shifted all petitions to the HC. Let us wait for the HC’s order. I can assure you that the Gujarat government will accept whatever decision the court takes. There is something puzzling about your campaign. Congress is seen as a reluctant warrior. Its senior leaders are not even campaigning. And yet PM Modi and you keep attacking Congress…■ What you said is true of Congress across the country. Congress has been adrift. It neither has issues nor leadership or a programme. It is a confused party. Yet, the fact remains that Congress has always had a base in Gujarat. Since 1990, they have got at least 30% vote share in every election. That’s why we cannot take them lightly in Gujarat. Our fight is with them. A consistent vote share of 30% translates into one-third of the electorate. Does this not reflect on your failure to win over sections of the society?■ There was a time when the entire country wasn’t with us. Now a large section of the population believes in our vision. We hope that those who are still not supporting us would come around after seeing our work. People say the ‘Gujarat model’ is just hype, a marketing trick: it has only glitter, no substance…■ You can’t see the substance if you have blinkers on. You will be able to see if you take off your goggles of biases and prejudices. What about the criticism that there has been excessive focus on highways and the industrial base, and the social sector has not got adequate attention?■ Another baseless criticism by those blinded by bias and who don’t care to even look at the figures. Gujarat is among the top three states on all parameters. Going back to 2017, the BJP performed poorly in tribal-dominated areas. Are you expecting an improvement this time?■ I am convinced we will do better. . . In every election, we have improved our vote share from tribal areas. And this time I am convinced that we will succeed. There is appreciation in those areas of the way we managed the pandemic; how we have expanded infrastructure and welfare benefits right to the doorsteps of individuals. I am sure people will acknowledge this. The alienation of Patels was another factor. Have they come back to the fold?■ As I said, after 2017 we’ve had two elections. One Lok Sabha, where all sections voted for us and we swept. We have also won the polls forlocal bodies. This could not have been possible without the support of all sections. Everyone has understood that what Congress did in the couple of years preceding 2017 was low-level politics which resulted in the disruption of mutual harmony. Is Hardik Patel’s coming to BJP a testament to this?■ It is not about an individual. It is about the masses… That explains everything. It is said that your principal rival is AAP and you are attacking Congress because you want to shore them up so that there is a split in anti-BJP votes.■ Every party has the right to fight an election. But if you look at Gujarat’s political history, it has largely been a bipolar polity and a third party has never been successful. Be it Chimanbhai Patel, Shankarsinh Vaghela, or Keshubhai Patel, Gujarat has always seen a two-party fight. I feel that the battle is between BJP and Congress. Congress has a lot of baggage and so it is easy for you to blunt their attack. AAP is a new player in Gujarat and is free of that handicap. Besides, a new player that also casts itself as an underdog has its own appeal. Do you agree?■ This is a never-ending debate. It seems you have made up your mind. I cannot convince you if you have already reached a conclusion and are looking for statements to fit that. Let us wait for the votes to be counted, doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani ho jayega. AAP has unleashed a bagful of freebies. This has worked for them in Delhi and Punjab. Don’t you think this can have an impact in Gujarat as well?■ They made similar promises in Uttarakhand and in Uttar Pradesh; in Maharashtra too. People are not fools. Gujarat has a budget of Rs 2. 42 lakh crore and the cost of implementing the promises that have been made would come to Rs 3. 6 lakh crore. Do you really think that people cannot see through this? They are smart, trust me. Does your confidence have to do with the ethos of Gujarat which values industry and enterprise?■ I don’t want to get into a meandering debate on this. But the fact is that we have given every home in Gujaratelectricity, toilet and gas cylinder. We have given every poor home an Ayushman Bharat card with health coverage up to Rs 5 lakh. And we have also given free rations as help during Covid-19. As against this, people make promises which are unrealistic and can never be kept. Making promises is one thing but what is crucial for winning people’s trust is whether you keep them. Our track record speaks for itself. There are reports about dissension over distribution of BJP tickets. So much so that you had to camp here to firefight.■ This is not new. But I don’t call it firefighting. Reaching out to a party colleague who is unhappy is not firefighting. It is an act of solidarity and camaraderie for someone who has been with you for years. It is my duty to hear them and assuage their feelings. It takes about 20 years to build a dedicated party worker. If a few of them are unhappy that their claim was not heeded, then it is our duty to put a hand on their shoulder and share their grief. And this is what takes BJP ahead. Many people say that the perception about BJP being the overwhelming frontrunner has its flipside too. It will lead to complacency and low turnout.■ Our booth-level presence is the strongest in Gujarat and our workers maintain constant rapport with people. The people of Gujarat have always participated in elections. I am confident that we will have a good turnout as in all elections, and BJP will score a massive win. Then why give a ticket to Payal Kukrani, whose father was convicted in the Naroda Patia violence?■ But what’s wrong about this? She’s a well-educated young woman; a doctor. She has been a hard-working member of the party. True, her father was convicted and has served his sentence. But what has that got to with the daughter? Does she not have a life of her own? You have pronounced her guilty because she is someone’s daughter. But you would never criticise AAP or NCP for not removing their ministers even when they are behind bars. Isn’t it a case of double standards? You have campaigned extensively, what is the feature of this election that has struck you the most?■ The nation has witnessed good governance under Narendrabhai’s leadership in the last eight years. Narendrabhai’s leadership has won laurels and glory for the country. Simultaneously, BJP’s ideological commitments have also been fulfilled. This has had a very positive impact on the people. Modiji was always loved by the people. But I can seethat the affection for him has grown because of the way he has stabilised the economy and strengthened national security. This is true of the entire country. But people here share a special bond with him because he is from Gujarat. His popularity is at its peak and will help BJP score a record win. What is your assessment of Himachal Pradesh?■ We are coming to office with a thumping majority. Over the years, BJP has made many promises in its manifesto. Some of them have been fulfilled, but others, like the Uniform Civil Code, remain on paper. Even CAA is in limbo because the rules have not been framed.■ You are mistaken. CAA is now the law of the land. It has to be implemented and we will do that… We just have to formulate the rules which we could not do because of the pandemic. We shall start working on this, now that the Covid situation has eased. As far as UCC is concerned, it is not just a part of our manifesto since our inception, the Constituent Assembly also directed the legislatures to enact one at the appropriate time. We are alive to our commitment and the task assigned by the framers of the Constitution. Your decision to ban the PFI has led to a backlash of sorts. We have seen serious terror plots being sought to be executed in Coimbatore and Mangalore.■ All challenges to internal security need to be strongly dealt with. We need to proceed against all such dangers, and while we need to analyse all the factors involved, the fear of risks should not deter us from taking on the threat itself. PFI, in many states, had become a danger to our unity and diversity, and our internal security. We watched them push our youth towards terrorism. I believe that the decision to ban it was correct and was taken at the right time. And if there is going to be any reaction, we have all the means and the intent to quell that. What is your assessment of the situation in J&K? When can we expect assembly polls?■ The entire world knows J&K is in very good shape. So far, investments worth Rs 56,000 crore – the highestever – have been committed in the state. Some 30,000 sarpanches have been elected and are working on local body polls. The roots of democracy have spread and gone deeper. People belonging to the backward classes who had been denied benefits available to their counterparts in other states have now been availing of reservations. Women have got their rights. All languages of J&K have got due recognition. And, for the first time, the public is getting a taste of what development actually means. As far as elections are concerned, the Election Commission has finished delimitation, grievances have been redressed. Now, constituencies have been delineated. Electoral rolls, which were riddled with irregularities, are being checked. The EC will announce the dates once the exercise is over. Very often, the judiciary does not seem to be in sync with what the government considers to be imperative for national security.■ There have been such instances. In our Constitution, the roles and responsibilities of the legislature and the judiciary have been very clearly defined and demarcated. We are keeping a close watch on the developments. We shall see how things move. We hope that everyone, including the judiciary, works within their remit. You have been cast as someone who is trying to impose Hindi. Regional parties have attacked you for this. However, you have also argued for regional languages to be used as a medium of education, including for higher and technical courses. What exactly is your position?■ We have championed the use of all Indian languages since the time of Jana Sangh. I am of the firm opinion that we have been able to utilise only 5% of the country’s intellect and talent as a section considers English as the only suitable medium of education and this prevents large sections from accessing quality education and training. The argument that a child will not get good education if he is not taught in English is rooted in misconception, steeped in bias and contrary to the findings of pedagogical studies. I have nothing against English as a language. But it is established that a child learns better and faster if he is taught in his mother tongue. If he is forced to switch to another language because of the hierarchy drawn by elites, his learning process is disrupted. We should be proud of our languages… We have the oldest language, the oldest grammar and the oldest literature. As I said, I am not opposed to English, but we have an excellent pool of Indian languages, which should not be wasted. It is directly linked to the country’s progress and growth.

Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again: Amit Shah

Gujarat Education News

Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again: Amit Shah
Times of India | 23 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:40 am
Times of India
23 hours ago | 26-11-2022 | 07:40 am

Union home minister Amit Shah, who has been campaigning extensively in Gujarat, is confident that the performance of successive BJP governments in the state and the growing affection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help BJP score an easy win there. In an exclusive conversation with TOI’s Diwakar and Akhilesh Singh on the campaign trail, he dismissed AAP’s challenge as exaggerated, insisting that Congress continues to be the main challenger but is headed for yet another defeat. Excerpts:What is your assessment on the Gujarat elections?■ The BJP is on a very strong wicket. We shall break all our past records – be it the number of seats or vote percentage – and come to office once again with a thumping majority. You recorded your highest tally – 127 – and highest vote share – 49. 85% – in 2002, the first election fought under Narendra Modi as CM. You hope to surpass that after having been in office for 27 long years?■ Yes. BJP had expressed similar confidence the last time but things did not turn out that way. Congress gave you a real scare and your tally dropped to 99…■ The last polls were an aberration. They were held in the shadow of three intense caste-based movements backed by Congress, which had, working through NGOs it funded, stealthily prepared the background for two years for the campaigns to create divisions among castes. The trick worked in the immediate run and had an impact on elections. But the antagonism that was manufactured and introduced in Gujarat was alien to Gujarat’s ethos. People quickly saw through the divide-and-win game plan. As a result, we won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats just two years later. BJP has since won most of the elections in the state. We hold 90% of seats in local body polls. Today, the party is in office in all districts and all municipal corporations. This clearly shows that the impact of the divisive politics that Congress introduced has worn off. What happened in 2017 was an exception, it could never be the norm in Gujarat. What else has changed since 2017 to make you so confident?■ A lot of issues that BJP consistently raised since its Jana Sangh days in the 1950s, and which resonated with large sections in Gujarat, have been resolved by Narendra Modi’s government. The end of the special status for J&K, removal of Section 35A, construction of Ram Mandir, ban on triple talaq, and beginning of the process to enact a Uniform Civil Code by setting up a committee and initiatingtalks: all this has found huge traction with the voter here. There is also appreciation of the Modi government’s effective management of Covid-19. Administering 230 crore doses of vaccines is no small feat and this is acknowledged by the people. Then, we have also ensured food security for 80 crore people who had lost their jobs and means of livelihood during the two years of the pandemic. All this has positively impacted the voter in Gujarat. I have personally sensed this on the ground. Our economy is stronger today and we have jumped from 11th to 5th spot in the ranking of global economies. This has also created a favourable impact for the BJP in a state like Gujarat where commerce and industry matters a lot and which is home to a large number of MSMEs. Few will dispute your success in turning Gujarat into a laboratory of your ideology. PM Modi’s popularity is obviously a big factor, while BJP’s organisation here is a well-oiled machine. Your advantages are evident. But what about the fatigue factor and the inevitable yearning for change? It felled the once-powerful CPM government in West Bengal.■ Yes, change is inevitable. It is the way of life and nobody can stop it from happening. But a party can also evolve to accommodate the desire for change. BJP consistently innovates and adapts to accommodate the yearning for change. In fact, the party has very often been the trigger for change. We keep carrying out changes. This gives people the confidence that the party is alive to their aspirations. Why would they seek to change a government which keeps improvising and innovating to satisfy their changing needs? So, you claim the BJP, despite being in power for close to three decades, is still seen as a change agent?■ Yes. BJP is a living organism, it keeps changing. That is what every party needs to do in order to be relevant, in order to survive. Our foundational beliefs never change, but our manner of working keeps changing according to the needs of the people. Our governments also keep innovating and have carried out multi-dimensional and dynamic changes in order to be more effective. Did you drop Vijay Rupani for the same reason?■ No. After Narendrabhai, we have had three chief ministers in Gujarat. First was Anandiben. We have a rule in our party that a member can be a part of electoral politics until the age of 75. And, accordingly, Anandiben was relieved from her post when she was 74 years and 10 months old. She has now been tasked with a different responsibility. … Vijaybhai also completed his five years. Then came Bhupendrabhai. We are fighting elections under his leadership and he will continue as the CM after the polls. We don’t dump people. There is always uncertainty on whether BJP will continue with the incumbent after the polls. In some cases, you did not declare your choice before the polls while faces were projected in other instances. What has Bhupendra Patel, a first-term MLA, done in such a short time that BJP has decided to retain him in the job and the Narendra-Bhupendra combo is being projected as the double engine of growth?■ In the one to one-and-ahalf years that he has been in office, Bhupendrabhai has followed all the norms that Narendrabhai had set. He has speeded up Gujarat’s development while upholding the party’s ideology. The results of his work can already be seen; even at the grassroots level. Gujarat’s share in overall exports has risen to 30%. Among the states, it has the largest share of MSMEs and startups registered in the past one year. It has successfully implemented the ‘One nation, one ration card’ scheme. The soft-spoken CM has also displayed firmness in dealing with illegal encroachments. And, there has been no controversy about him. Would you agree that playing the challenger is easier? When you are the incumbent, you are forced to play defence.■ As I had told TOI at the time of the UP polls, antiincumbency is relative. It does not apply to all situations and is dependent on how you have performed in office. We have seen parties winning polls because of pro-incumbency sentiments that their performance generated. And with the type of governance we have provided in Gujarat – 24-hour electricity in every house, road connectivity, business investment, FDI, and high export volume – we have no reason to fear anti-incumbency. The term anti-incumbency was coined during Congress rule for its listless performance. However, under BJP, we have seen the emergence of the concept of ‘pro-incumbency’ and that is the dominant sentiment in Gujarat. Isn’t the Morbi disaster a blot on the state’s performance?■ It was a heart-wrenching tragedy. We all – from PM Narendra Modi to the grassroots BJP worker – feel very sad for the victims. However, we shouldn’t rush to a conclusion just because an election is underway. An administrative inquiry is going on. The high court has also taken cognisance and asked Gujarat Human Rights Commission to look into the matter. The Supreme Court is also cognisant and has shifted all petitions to the HC. Let us wait for the HC’s order. I can assure you that the Gujarat government will accept whatever decision the court takes. There is something puzzling about your campaign. Congress is seen as a reluctant warrior. Its senior leaders are not even campaigning. And yet PM Modi and you keep attacking Congress…■ What you said is true of Congress across the country. Congress has been adrift. It neither has issues nor leadership or a programme. It is a confused party. Yet, the fact remains that Congress has always had a base in Gujarat. Since 1990, they have got at least 30% vote share in every election. That’s why we cannot take them lightly in Gujarat. Our fight is with them. A consistent vote share of 30% translates into one-third of the electorate. Does this not reflect on your failure to win over sections of the society?■ There was a time when the entire country wasn’t with us. Now a large section of the population believes in our vision. We hope that those who are still not supporting us would come around after seeing our work. People say the ‘Gujarat model’ is just hype, a marketing trick: it has only glitter, no substance…■ You can’t see the substance if you have blinkers on. You will be able to see if you take off your goggles of biases and prejudices. What about the criticism that there has been excessive focus on highways and the industrial base, and the social sector has not got adequate attention?■ Another baseless criticism by those blinded by bias and who don’t care to even look at the figures. Gujarat is among the top three states on all parameters. Going back to 2017, the BJP performed poorly in tribal-dominated areas. Are you expecting an improvement this time?■ I am convinced we will do better. . . In every election, we have improved our vote share from tribal areas. And this time I am convinced that we will succeed. There is appreciation in those areas of the way we managed the pandemic; how we have expanded infrastructure and welfare benefits right to the doorsteps of individuals. I am sure people will acknowledge this. The alienation of Patels was another factor. Have they come back to the fold?■ As I said, after 2017 we’ve had two elections. One Lok Sabha, where all sections voted for us and we swept. We have also won the polls forlocal bodies. This could not have been possible without the support of all sections. Everyone has understood that what Congress did in the couple of years preceding 2017 was low-level politics which resulted in the disruption of mutual harmony. Is Hardik Patel’s coming to BJP a testament to this?■ It is not about an individual. It is about the masses… That explains everything. It is said that your principal rival is AAP and you are attacking Congress because you want to shore them up so that there is a split in anti-BJP votes.■ Every party has the right to fight an election. But if you look at Gujarat’s political history, it has largely been a bipolar polity and a third party has never been successful. Be it Chimanbhai Patel, Shankarsinh Vaghela, or Keshubhai Patel, Gujarat has always seen a two-party fight. I feel that the battle is between BJP and Congress. Congress has a lot of baggage and so it is easy for you to blunt their attack. AAP is a new player in Gujarat and is free of that handicap. Besides, a new player that also casts itself as an underdog has its own appeal. Do you agree?■ This is a never-ending debate. It seems you have made up your mind. I cannot convince you if you have already reached a conclusion and are looking for statements to fit that. Let us wait for the votes to be counted, doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani ho jayega. AAP has unleashed a bagful of freebies. This has worked for them in Delhi and Punjab. Don’t you think this can have an impact in Gujarat as well?■ They made similar promises in Uttarakhand and in Uttar Pradesh; in Maharashtra too. People are not fools. Gujarat has a budget of Rs 2. 42 lakh crore and the cost of implementing the promises that have been made would come to Rs 3. 6 lakh crore. Do you really think that people cannot see through this? They are smart, trust me. Does your confidence have to do with the ethos of Gujarat which values industry and enterprise?■ I don’t want to get into a meandering debate on this. But the fact is that we have given every home in Gujaratelectricity, toilet and gas cylinder. We have given every poor home an Ayushman Bharat card with health coverage up to Rs 5 lakh. And we have also given free rations as help during Covid-19. As against this, people make promises which are unrealistic and can never be kept. Making promises is one thing but what is crucial for winning people’s trust is whether you keep them. Our track record speaks for itself. There are reports about dissension over distribution of BJP tickets. So much so that you had to camp here to firefight.■ This is not new. But I don’t call it firefighting. Reaching out to a party colleague who is unhappy is not firefighting. It is an act of solidarity and camaraderie for someone who has been with you for years. It is my duty to hear them and assuage their feelings. It takes about 20 years to build a dedicated party worker. If a few of them are unhappy that their claim was not heeded, then it is our duty to put a hand on their shoulder and share their grief. And this is what takes BJP ahead. Many people say that the perception about BJP being the overwhelming frontrunner has its flipside too. It will lead to complacency and low turnout.■ Our booth-level presence is the strongest in Gujarat and our workers maintain constant rapport with people. The people of Gujarat have always participated in elections. I am confident that we will have a good turnout as in all elections, and BJP will score a massive win. Then why give a ticket to Payal Kukrani, whose father was convicted in the Naroda Patia violence?■ But what’s wrong about this? She’s a well-educated young woman; a doctor. She has been a hard-working member of the party. True, her father was convicted and has served his sentence. But what has that got to with the daughter? Does she not have a life of her own? You have pronounced her guilty because she is someone’s daughter. But you would never criticise AAP or NCP for not removing their ministers even when they are behind bars. Isn’t it a case of double standards? You have campaigned extensively, what is the feature of this election that has struck you the most?■ The nation has witnessed good governance under Narendrabhai’s leadership in the last eight years. Narendrabhai’s leadership has won laurels and glory for the country. Simultaneously, BJP’s ideological commitments have also been fulfilled. This has had a very positive impact on the people. Modiji was always loved by the people. But I can seethat the affection for him has grown because of the way he has stabilised the economy and strengthened national security. This is true of the entire country. But people here share a special bond with him because he is from Gujarat. His popularity is at its peak and will help BJP score a record win. What is your assessment of Himachal Pradesh?■ We are coming to office with a thumping majority. Over the years, BJP has made many promises in its manifesto. Some of them have been fulfilled, but others, like the Uniform Civil Code, remain on paper. Even CAA is in limbo because the rules have not been framed.■ You are mistaken. CAA is now the law of the land. It has to be implemented and we will do that… We just have to formulate the rules which we could not do because of the pandemic. We shall start working on this, now that the Covid situation has eased. As far as UCC is concerned, it is not just a part of our manifesto since our inception, the Constituent Assembly also directed the legislatures to enact one at the appropriate time. We are alive to our commitment and the task assigned by the framers of the Constitution. Your decision to ban the PFI has led to a backlash of sorts. We have seen serious terror plots being sought to be executed in Coimbatore and Mangalore.■ All challenges to internal security need to be strongly dealt with. We need to proceed against all such dangers, and while we need to analyse all the factors involved, the fear of risks should not deter us from taking on the threat itself. PFI, in many states, had become a danger to our unity and diversity, and our internal security. We watched them push our youth towards terrorism. I believe that the decision to ban it was correct and was taken at the right time. And if there is going to be any reaction, we have all the means and the intent to quell that. What is your assessment of the situation in J&K? When can we expect assembly polls?■ The entire world knows J&K is in very good shape. So far, investments worth Rs 56,000 crore – the highestever – have been committed in the state. Some 30,000 sarpanches have been elected and are working on local body polls. The roots of democracy have spread and gone deeper. People belonging to the backward classes who had been denied benefits available to their counterparts in other states have now been availing of reservations. Women have got their rights. All languages of J&K have got due recognition. And, for the first time, the public is getting a taste of what development actually means. As far as elections are concerned, the Election Commission has finished delimitation, grievances have been redressed. Now, constituencies have been delineated. Electoral rolls, which were riddled with irregularities, are being checked. The EC will announce the dates once the exercise is over. Very often, the judiciary does not seem to be in sync with what the government considers to be imperative for national security.■ There have been such instances. In our Constitution, the roles and responsibilities of the legislature and the judiciary have been very clearly defined and demarcated. We are keeping a close watch on the developments. We shall see how things move. We hope that everyone, including the judiciary, works within their remit. You have been cast as someone who is trying to impose Hindi. Regional parties have attacked you for this. However, you have also argued for regional languages to be used as a medium of education, including for higher and technical courses. What exactly is your position?■ We have championed the use of all Indian languages since the time of Jana Sangh. I am of the firm opinion that we have been able to utilise only 5% of the country’s intellect and talent as a section considers English as the only suitable medium of education and this prevents large sections from accessing quality education and training. The argument that a child will not get good education if he is not taught in English is rooted in misconception, steeped in bias and contrary to the findings of pedagogical studies. I have nothing against English as a language. But it is established that a child learns better and faster if he is taught in his mother tongue. If he is forced to switch to another language because of the hierarchy drawn by elites, his learning process is disrupted. We should be proud of our languages… We have the oldest language, the oldest grammar and the oldest literature. As I said, I am not opposed to English, but we have an excellent pool of Indian languages, which should not be wasted. It is directly linked to the country’s progress and growth.

Gujarat’s bond with Modi has grown stronger because of his work… will help BJP win again: Amit Shah
Modi counters AAP pitch: ‘We got you schools, clinics and power’
The Indian Express | 1 day ago | 25-11-2022 | 11:50 am
The Indian Express
1 day ago | 25-11-2022 | 11:50 am

In what appeared to be a veiled counter to the Aam Aadmi Party’s campaign focus on health, education and electricity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked all three issues at his public addresses throughout the day, even stating at Dahegam that over the past 20-25 years, the BJP in Gujarat has managed to fulfill and accomplish the basic necessities of roads, electricity and water in the state.With electricity being a consistent plank taken by Modi at all four of his public addresses on Thursday, he said at Modasa that in the past 20 years, his government had worked towards ensuring round-the-clock electricity supply to farmers in villages.“Electricity is as important as water. Without electricity, development is not possible. None of you would be sitting with mobile phones here without electricity … We set up so many electricity generation units that today Gujarat is electricity-surplus … Because of consistent electricity supply, during the Covid-19 pandemic, children in villages could continue their studies on cellphones. This change has been brought about by the honest work of the BJP government … Today, we are producing electricity from wind and solar energy … We have made entire villages into electricity generation units by setting up solar panels on rooftops … Today electricity not only comes free, you even get to earn from it while sitting at home, selling the surplus electricity generated … We worked to bring this revolution to each household … You can now sell electricity the way you would sell vegetables. The era of producing cheap electricity is over, it is the era of selling surplus electricity and we are working on it.” Referring to solar energy initiatives for farmers in Gujarat, Modi also said that the BJP government has made farmers, ‘anna-data’, as well as ‘urja-data’.At Bavla, Modi added: “20 years ago, one could not even imagine electricity for 24 hours”, further pointing out that “today in villages, electricity supply is as good as in the cities” of Gujarat. At Dahegam, he said that Gujarat has already accomplished development on the issues of sadak-bijli-paani (roads, power and water) in the last 20 years. “There was a time when elections would have issues like corruption, casteism, nepotism. Then came the time when issues of sadak-bijli-paani (roads, power and water) became big. Today, because of the work done in the last 20 years, Gujarat has accomplished all that was there to be done in these areas. Gujarat has come out of the crisis. For 20-25 years, Gujarat concentrated on developing basic amenities and emerged as a leading state of the country. Today, 24 hours power is available for domestic use in Gujarat,” Modi said.At Dahegam and Bavla, Modi also exhorted BJP’s development work on the educational front, stating at Dahegam that the state government has “transformed the education sector in the region”.“Around 20-25 years ago,” Modi said, “Gujarat’s education budget was Rs 1,600 crore. Today, it has reached Rs 33,000 crore… The (entire) budget of many states isn’t as much.”He added that Gandhinagar was becoming a big centre of education in terms of higher secondary schools, engineering and diploma colleges, and other universities like a Children’s University, Forensic Sciences University, Pandit Deendayal Energy University, Maritime University, Rashtriya Raksha University, Gujarat National Law University, and the Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG).At Bavla, Modi said, “Twenty years ago, [finding] a school at the taluka level was a stroke of fortune. Otherwise, one had to go to schools at the district-level.” He added that, “Twenty years ago, there was hopelessness when it came to education… Twenty years ago, there was only one university in Ahmedabad district. Today, there are 23 universities in the district.”Saying that historically, Gujarat had a prevalence of malnutrition, and that his government had worked in the last 20 years to ensure nutrition, Modi claimed at Modasa, “Due to efforts of the past 20 years, with the ‘Double Engine Sarkar’, BJP has taken the initiative to defeat malnutrition. It has especially benefitted our tribal women… Not only that, to ensure nutrition during pregnancy, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana’s benefits reach over three lakh households in Gujarat.”Attributing the Chiranjeevi Yojana, introduced in Gujarat in 2006 to encourage institutional deliveries, as the reason behind fall in infant mortality rates in the state, Modi also hailed Ayushman Bharat for reducing out-of-pocket expenditures in his public addresses. Noting in both Modasa and Bavla that women often suppress their health problems even when they are in extreme pain “because if they express their pain to their children, they think the family will be drowned in debt if she gets treatment”, Modi cited the Ayushman Bharat scheme for easing such difficulties for women. He went on to mention Ayushman Bharat at three of his public addresses, at Palanpur, Modasa and Bavla.

Modi counters AAP pitch: ‘We got you schools, clinics and power’
Time to earn from power, not getting it for free: PM Modi
Times of India | 2 days ago | 25-11-2022 | 06:48 am
Times of India
2 days ago | 25-11-2022 | 06:48 am

AHMEDABAD: Time has now come for people to generate income from electricity instead of getting it for free, PM Narendra Modi said on Thursday in an apparent dig at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s poll promise of providing power without charge. Modi also accused Congress of criticising him relentlessly rather than working for Gujarat’s progress. The PM is on a whirlwindcampaign tour for the December assembly elections in the state. He addressed rallies in Palanpur, Modasa, Dehgam and Bavla. Citing the example of India’s first fully solar-powered village, Modi said in Modasa: “You must have seen how the entire Modhera village is now running on rooftop solar power. People are using electricity as per their need and selling excess power (to the government). I want to replicate this system across Gujarat,” he said. “Under this system, you can earn money by selling excess electricity generated from solar panels. Only Modi knows this art wherein people will be able to earn from electricity,” he said. Kejriwal has been claiming that he is the only politician in the country who has “mastered this magic of providing free electricity”. Modi said now the farmers are themselves generating electricity through solar panels installed on unused corners of their fields. “They can also sell surplus electricity and earn money. The era of demanding affordable electricity is over,” he said. In Dehgam, the PM said opposition party functionaries are devoid of any vision for developing Gujarat as they are busy criticising him all the time. “Instead of finding solutions to problems of the slum dwellers, Congress used to just throw some pieces towards them. We are also working forempowerment of the poor and middle class,” he said. Modi also accused Congress of “divide and rule” policy and focussing only on how to be in government. He said Congress has ignored Gandhian values, which resulted in villages of Gujarat suffering from utter neglect for years. “Mahatma Gandhi used to say that the soul of India resides in its villages. But Congress never cared to follow such Gandhian values. They actually trampled that soul,” he said in Bavla near Ahmedabad. Modi also charged Congress with fomenting rifts between villages and cities. “Congress only tried to benefit from these conflicts,” he said. Talking about education, he said the BJP government has transformed this sector in the state and made it more scientific and modern. “Gujarat’s education budget has now gone up to Rs 33,000 crore, more than the total budget outlay of several states,” he said. In Palanpur, Modi said: “This election is not about who will become an MLA or whose government will come. This election is all about deciding Gujarat’s destiny for the next 25 years. ” He said the BJP government has focussed on tourism, environment, water, cattle-rearing and nutrition aspects for the overall development of Banaskantha and the surrounding region.

Time to earn from power, not getting it for free: PM Modi
  • "Time To Earn From Electricity, Not Get It For Free," Says PM Modi
  • Ndtv

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stepped up campaigning for his party BJP in GujaratAhmedabad: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today it was time to generate income from electricity instead of getting it for free, an apparent reference to promise of free power made by some parties in Gujarat, and asserted that next month's Assembly election is about deciding the state's destiny for the next 25 years.Stepping up his campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with just a week left for the first phase of polling, the Prime Minister addressed four rallies for the second consecutive day in different parts of the state in support of ruling party candidates.Addressing an election rally in Modasa town of Aravalli district in north Gujarat, the PM said only he knows the art through which people can earn money from electricity.Both Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress, political rivals of the BJP, have promised free electricity (up to 300 units per month) to people if voted to power in Gujarat.Seeking to counter their free power promise, Modi said he wants to see people across Gujarat earning money from excess electricity generated from solar rooftop systems instead of just getting it for free."You must have seen how the entire Modhera village (in Mehsana district) is now running on rooftop solar power. They are using electricity as per their need and sell excess power (to the government). I want to replicate this system across Gujarat," he said."Under this system, you can earn money by selling excess electricity generated from solar panels. Only Modi knows this art wherein people will be able to earn from electricity," said Mr Modi.He told the audience a woman from Modhera is now planning to buy a refrigerator and an air-conditioner as electricity has become affordable after the installation of rooftop solar power."She told me that though her family was able to afford the appliances earlier, they refrained from using them because they could not bear the running cost. Now, they can afford it because electricity is free. I am working to bring this revolution at the doorstep of each and every household in Gujarat," the PM said.He said now farmers are themselves generating electricity through solar panels installed on unused corners of their farms."They can also sell excess electricity and earn money. The era of demanding affordable electricity has gone. Today, you can generate income by selling electricity," said Mr Modi, who had served as the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014.Mr Modi also slammed the Congress, saying the opposition party only believes in the formula of "divide and rule" and it only focuses on how to get power."Rajasthan is near your border. Have you seen any development in that state? Have you seen any good news coming out of that state? The Congress cannot do development," he said.At another election meeting in Palanpur town of Banaskantha district, Mr Modi said the upcoming polls will decide the state's destiny for the next 25 years.He added that though many development works have been carried out by the BJP in Gujarat and the Centre, time has come to take a "giant leap"."This election is not about who will become an MLA or whose government will be formed. This election is all about deciding Gujarat's destiny for the next 25 years," Mr Modi said.The PM pointed out that Gujarat's education budget has now gone up to Rs 33,000 crore, more than the total budget outlay of several states.Notably, the comments of the BJP's star campaigner on Gujarat's education scenario came at a time when the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has been aggressively pitching the 'Delhi model' of education and has promised to revamp government-run schools if voted to power in the state.The PM told the gathering that Gandhinagar has now become an education hub housing numerous colleges and universities.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"Mahatma Gandhi used to say that the soul of India resides in its villages, but Congress leaders never cared to follow Gandhian values. They actually crushed that soul. Villages remained neglected and their true potential was never realised," he noted.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayWhatsApp's Secret New Feature Will Make Your Life Easier


Gujarat Covid News

Modi model of governance is sustainable, no anti-incumbency, graph ever-rising: Jitendra Singh
The Indian Express | 3 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 03:50 am
The Indian Express
3 hours ago | 27-11-2022 | 03:50 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s model of governance is sustainable, as it has defied the principle of diminishing returns, there is no anti-incumbency, and the graph is rising always upwards, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.Since 2014, Modi has given a “new, different kind of model of governance, which is based on a new, different approach, and a different work culture”, the MoS for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and PMO said.Addressing the inaugural session of 25th e-governance conference here, Singh said, “What is this governance model that I am trying to be boisterous about? Some authors have described it as Modi’s model of governance… It is not simply for name-dropping, as some cynics might feel. It is a model that has sustained itself for nearly 20 years, or more than 20 years, with Modi as the longest-serving head of government in any democracy.“Therefore, I have the courage and conviction to say this is a sustainable model of governance.”He said, “This is a model which has defied the principle of diminishing returns. On the contrary, with each passing year, the dividends have increased. There is no anti-incumbency…. The graph is always upwards, never down.”This is a model that has “grown stronger with each challenge”, because it was always prepared beforehand to face a challenge, Singh said. “As chief minister (of Gujarat), Mr Modi faced the earthquake in Gujarat. As Prime Minister, the pandemic (Covid-19). We were already prepared for it; we could do better.”Singh said it was due to this governance model that the Covid-19 pandemic could be managed. Recently, he said, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands appreciated the way India combatted Covid-19. “He said we (Amsterdam) could not manage with such a small population, how could you? I said because we were already prepared. So, this is the governance model (he is referring to).”Singh said the basic mantra of the Modi government is “maximum governance, minimum government”.“This sounds very fanciful…like a philosophy, an ornamental phrase…. But the simple meaning is a government that acts as a facilitator but does not act as an intimidator. That is how I have sought to interpret it…sarkaar ka abhav bhi nahin aur sarkaar ka prabhav bhi nahi (neither the absence of government nor the influence of government),” he said.Singh said the “whole of government, whole of nation and whole of society” approach has become the new norm to achieve the desired results in the shortest span of time”.The two-day National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) is organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in association with the Jammu & Kashmir administration. The theme of this year’s conference is “Bringing Citizens, Industry and Government closer”.Addressing the gathering, DARPG Secretary V Srinivas said the maxim ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government’ is represented by a digitally empowered nation, a digitally empowered citizenry, and a digitally transformed institution. Between 2014 and 2022, he said, the government has brought about digital transformation that has been accepted by the rural population through Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, BHIM UPI, CoWIN, Arogya Setu App.J&K Chief Secretary Arun Mehta said it is a proud moment for the UT to be hosting the 25th National Conference on e-Governance at Katra, which shows signs of changes taking place in the UT.Information Technology Secretary Alkesh Kumar called it an occasion to recognise and showcase exemplary digital transformations brought about by the Centre, the states and the start-up community.On the occasion, Singh presented the National Awards for e-Governance (NAeG) under five categories of the NAeG Scheme-2022 to 18 e-Governance initiatives at Central, state and district levels, academic and research institutions and Public Sector Undertakings.(The reporter was in Katra on an invitation from the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions)

Modi model of governance is sustainable, no anti-incumbency, graph ever-rising: Jitendra Singh
Surat nu jaman: Diamond City to dish out some delectable contests
Times of India | 3 days ago | 23-11-2022 | 07:34 am
Times of India
3 days ago | 23-11-2022 | 07:34 am

Surti undhiyu, the lip-smacking winter concoction of green vegetables, has never been complete without the ‘paapdi (flat beans)’, which once grew in abundance in the lush fields of Katargam. However, over the past 10 years, the fields have been replaced by flashy residential and commercial buildings; residents are seen flaunting their luxury cars, and this once sleepy hamlet has transformed into a thriving business centre of Surat also known as India’s Diamond City. Katargam is the hub of diamond cutting and polishing with over 4,000 artisans working in one shift in small and big units, employing lakhs of skilled hands. It also has a GIDC where lakhs of metres of fabrics are woven every day. And, this poll season, some delectable electoral battles are cooking up in this Patidar-dominated area which had witnessed massive unrest with crowds setting ablaze buses and other government property during the 2015 Hardik Patel-led quota stir. Political equations changed quickly, and BJP bastion, Surat, became the cradle of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Gujarat. In 2021 civic poll, the AAP made a stunning debut, winning 27 out of the 120 seats in the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) while the Congress drew a blank. On December 1, Surat city, with a total of 12 assembly segments including 2 rurban seats, is expected to witness some of the most gripping battles this election. Besides the community factors and an aggressive Kejriwal outfit, it’s the home to the state presidents of two parties: the BJP’s C R Paatil and the AAP’s Gopal Italia, the plucky Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader and former Hardik aide. Paatil holds a huge sway over migrants including Maharashtrians in Limbayat. The AAP has fielded Italia from Katargam against sitting BJP minister Vinod Moradiya who won his maiden election in 2017. Italia has become the favourite whipping boy of the BJP after several videos of his unsavoury remarks, including those against PM Modi and his mother, surfaced on social media. Italia dismissed them as a conspiracy but gave enough ammunition to Modi and other star campaigners whohave been fervently asking people to vanquish elements using disparaging language to ‘defame’ Gujarat and its people. “I am one of the poorest candidates but have the highest number of FIRs against me. These cases were filed against me for participating in various public movements,”33-year-old Italia tells people in his campaign. While Moradiya, a three-time councillor, is banking on the BJP symbol and government works, Congress’s Kalpesh Variya who hails from the Prajapati community, claims to have a better connect with people due to his social activities. The Prajapatis are natives of Saurashtra who are engaged in the diamond as well as the textile industry. The young turks of the BJP have seen a meteoric rise in their political fortunes with Majura MLA Harsh Sanghavi being one of the most prominent faces. Sanghavi, who has been vociferous against ‘love jihad’, was instrumental in the roaring success of PM Modi’s roadshows and rallies in the city. Given the sheer number of Saurashtra natives (nearly 20 lakh), who are registered voters in Surat and the AAP’s aggressive posturing, contests in Varachha Road, Surat North, Karanj, Kamrej, and Olpad are expected to spice up the hustings. Expecting a tough fight, all three parties are leaving no stone unturned while campaigning and reaching out to people. Tempers are also fraying. Twice recently, workers of the BJP and the AAP came face to face in Sarthana and Limbayat, forcing the police to rush to the spots and control the situation. Kathiriya is expected to give a tough fight to ex-minister Kumar Kanani in Varachha, which had also been scorched during the quota agitation, by harping on anti-incumbency. He also has community backing. Apart from Italia and Kathiriya, the AAP has fielded another young face in PAAS activist, Dharmik Malaviya, from the rurban Olpad seat against BJP ministerMukesh Patel and Darshan Naik of the Congress. The city of flyovers, often called the distant cousin of Mumbai, has consistently achieved the top rank in the Centre’s Swachhata surveys. But youth from the Patidar areas launched social media campaigns to demand a government college, something that was approved by the state government recently but remains on paper. “The movement has been going on for the past seven years and gained momentum in 2018 but we are yet to get a college,” said Ketan Sojitra, a social worker. Importantly, Surat won accolades for the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially the second wave which saw a massive exodus of migrants from the city. The Patidars along with other communities set an example by converting their community halls into Covid care isolation centres, which provided succour to thousands and reduced the burden on government hospitals. Another issue that is expected to play on the minds of people, especially in the Varachha, Surat North, Karanj, Katargam, and Olpad seats, is the horrific Takshashila Arcade fire that snuffed out the lives of 22 students on May 24, 2019. “The actual corrupt officials of the Surat Municipal Corporation, Dakshin Gujarat Vij Company Ltd and the fire department, who allowed the illegal construction, were never arrested. Those arrested are out on bail and the government is not interested in running the case in the fast-track court,” said Jaysukh Gajera, father of one of the deceased students. In Olpad and Kamrej constituencies, several villages have been included in the city limits, but the basic civic amenities like water supply and drainage are far from adequate. The villages that were included in city limits a few years ago are yet to get basic civic facilities like water supply and drainage. In some places, sewage water still flows through open rainwater trenches. The poor infrastructure is also hampering MSME development in these areas.

Surat nu jaman: Diamond City to dish out some delectable contests
No terror group has courage to enter India now, says Yogi
The Indian Express | 5 days ago | 22-11-2022 | 03:50 am
The Indian Express
5 days ago | 22-11-2022 | 03:50 am

On a stage flanked by two JCB earth excavators decorated with garlands, symbolising the demolitions back in his state, Uttar Pradesh Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday greeted the audience in Porbandar in Gujarati at a rally where the banner described him as “Hindu Hriday Samrat” and said “no terror group has the courage to enter India now”.Invoking the principles of “simplicity and truthfulness” of Mahatma Gandhi in his birthplace, and the “vision and strength” of Sardar Patel, Adityanath said, “Today no terror group has the courage to enter India and launch an attack. No country can dare to even to look at India with a crooked eye… India’s soldiers are ready for a surgical strike… no one can dent our country’s security. Whatever was left of terrorism has been annihilated after the abrogation of Article 370.”At Wankaner where Adityanath addressed his first election rally in Gujarat on November 18, he was welcomed as “bulldozer baba” with two JCB machines placed on the venue.Adityanath also said that during troubles people remember their “nani” (maternal grandmother), which is why Congress leaders “went off to Italy when the country was battling Covid-19 crisis”.Adityanath, one of BJP’s star campaigners for the upcoming Assembly polls in Gujarat, earlier addressed gatherings in the tribal belt of Naswadi and in Mahmedavad in Kheda district on Monday. The constituencies that he addressed have a significant minority vote.The crowd cheered as Adityanath said, “The benefits of government schemes are reaching every person belonging to every caste, creed, and religion. We will give everyone equal development opportunities but we will not resort to appeasement of anyone. This is the vow of the BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi…”Hailing the government and attacking the Congress, Adityanath said, During the Covid-19 pandemic, you have seen free medical treatment and free vaccines as well as free food. If the Congress was in power then, it would have eaten up all the money meant for the Covid-19 vaccine and the food kits for the poor…”“On one hand, Modiji was fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, and on the other hand, he was working to end the country’s wait of 500 years. When the temple is ready next year and when Ram Lalla finally takes his sacred seat inside the temple, it will be the pride of the nation…,” said Adityanath, referring to the Ram Temple coming up in Ayodhya.It was the “vision” of Union Home Minister Amit Shah that led to the abrogation of Article 370 from Kashmir, “putting an end to terrorism and naxalism”, Adityanath said, adding, “If, in 1947, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel used his visionary power, in 2019, it was the son of Gujarat, Amit Shah, who abrogated Article 370 from Kashmir. It was the final nail in the coffin of terrorism and it has ended terrorism and naxalism. Could the Congress have done it?”Calling India pipping Britain to be the fifth country in economic development as a “big achievement”, Adityanath said, “Britain ruled India for over 200 years and to leave them behind in the ladder of economic development is a big step… This has happened because of Narendra Modi…”In Mehmadavad, Adityanath said that like the Congress had been “finished in UP”, it was now the turn of Gujarat to repeat the same feat. “Uttar Pradesh has 403 assembly seats and a population of 25 crore. Do you know how many seats Congress has in UP? Two. Even to say ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai’, you need four people… When Congress has finished in UP, is Gujarat ready for the same?,” he said.

No terror group has courage to enter India now, says Yogi