"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
SURAT: A 32-year-old unemployed man ended life on Wednesday after killing his two children in Mulgam of Pironi village in Kaprada of Valsad district. The man hanged himself to death after he hanged his children from the ceiling at their home. Police booked Sanjay Boba posthumously for allegedly killing his daughter Sandhya (8) and 5-year-old son Suraj. The children were found hanging along with their father from the ceiling in their home. A complaint in this regard was lodged by Nidhu, younger brother of Sanjay, in Nanapondha police station. Preliminary police investigation revealed that Boba's wife Sunita went away to stay with her parents six months ago. Unemployed, Boba was upset as his wife too had deserted them. Police suspect that Boba first strangled his children with a rope before hanging them to a wooden column. He then hung himself using another rope. Not seeing any of them outside till the afternoon, neighbours went to check and saw them hanging when they peeped through a gap in the door.
Leaders of political parties use the phrase ‘Janta Janardhan’ while referring to the electorate. Loosely translated, it means the people are an image of the almighty. In a democracy, one way for people to assert their rights is the threat to boycott an election. As in earlier elections, declarations of poll boycott have been made from several quarters. The reasons range from unmet demands for train stoppages to poor roads; from protests against illegal mining to lack of action against bootleggers. In Dhrafa village, part of the Jamjodhpur assembly constituency in Jamnagar, residents called for a boycott, seeking separate polling booths for men and women. The village panchayat has shot off a letter to the district collector in this regard. According to villagers, separate booths for men and women havebeen set up in all elections since the Independence. Villagers say women cover their faces with a veil in front of unknown menfolk, and a common polling booth is an absolute no-no. Village sarpanch Dharmendrasinh Jadeja said, “We have two booths — one at the girls’ school where women vote, and at the primary school where men vote. This time, no such arrangements were made. ” On November 19, the villagers met and decided to boycott the poll. In Navsari district, Ancheli village plans to boycott the election if train stoppages are not increased. “Before Covid, 18 local trains used to stop here. Nowthere are only eight stops. This has affected some 15,000 commuters from 19 villages who use the trains to get to work,” said Hitesh Naik, a farmer. After villagers put up posters calling for a boycott, workers of political parties visited the village and promised to resolve the issue. At Abrama in Valsad district, residents are protesting the poor condition of roads. Residents of Sona Plot have put up banners announcing the boycott. These were subsequently removed by civic officials and police. Government officials say construction of the road has been approved but work could not begin. The 900-odd residents of Tankalpada and Modidabas villages in Dang district are upset about roads and bridges damaged during monsoon. The villagers installed banners announcing a boycott. Similarly, people at Jira village of Savarkundla taluka in Amreli district have threatened to boycott the election, as a protest against illegal mining and the free availability of country liquor. Village sarpanch Daksha Chovadiya decided this in the presence of 500 villagers at a specially convened meeting. A memorandum to this effect was submitted to local authorities. At Raiyoli village in Balasinor, where the government has set up a dinosaur park, the village panchayat met in October and resolved against voting as the government has not provided proper connectivity between other places and Raiyoli.
Taking aim at the ruling BJP, Aam Aadmi Party national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said while his government waives off people’s electricity bills, the saffron party writes off the loans of the rich. Assuring that the AAP would win the elections, Kejriwal, during a roadshow in Amreli, said, “They say a third party cannot come here. In Delhi, too, they used to say the same… out of the 70 seats, Congress got zero and the BJP just three.” His Punjab counterpart, Bhagwant Mann, while addressing rallies in the coastal constituencies of Umbergaon in Valsad district, said how he had brought back the Old Pension Scheme—a key demand from the government employees of Gujarat—in his state. Mann claimed that he recently cleared 20,000 jobs in Punjab. Umbergaon is the current seat of BJP MLA Ramanlal Patkar. It is an ST reserved constituency. The AAP has fielded Ashok Patel from the seat. Kejriwal also reiterated his promises to the people of Gujarat. “One small party like ours…wherever we are going, we are receiving so much love. It is the women who face the maximum challenge while dealing with inflation. Income is not rising but expenditures keep piling up,” he said, highlighting his promise of giving Rs 1,000 per month to every woman above 18 years of age. “This will give them some respite from inflation (to the women.” The candidates from Amreli, Dhari, Lathi, Rajula, Savarkundla, Mahuva and Gariadhar seats that come under the Amreli Lok Sabha constituency, accompanied Kejriwal in the roadshow. Mann also attended a rally at Valsad’s Kaparada—an assembly seat reserved for the ST where BJP’s Jitu Chaudhari is the current MLA. AAP has fielded Jayendra Gavit from the seat. Mann’s Kaparada rally was followed by a roadshow in Dharampur—also an ST reserved seat—held by BJP MLA Arvind Patel. The party has fielded Kamlesh Patel from the seat.
VALSAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday conducted roadshows in Vapi city in the Valsad district of Gujarat as the BJP ramps up its election campaign to be in power in the state. He received a warm welcome from the local people of Vapi. Scores of people gathered to welcome and cheer for the Prime Minister. PM Modi waved at the excited gathering during the roadshow. Meanwhile, ahead of the Assembly elections, the Prime Minister is expected to participate in at least eight programmes crisscrossing the state from Saurashtra to Surat. The Prime Minister is scheduled to hold rallies in Gujarat's Saurashtra for three consecutive days from November 20 to November 22. More than 1.5 lakh people will participate in these rallies, said the source. The Prime Minister will conduct three rallies in Saurashtra on November 20, two in South Gujarat and Saurashtra on November 21 and two in Saurashtra on November 22. On November 20, after visiting the Somnath Temple, he is scheduled to address four rallies in the Saurashtra region. Venues have been finalised at Veraval, Dhorarji, Amreli and Botad. Incidentally, in the last assembly elections, the BJP was not able to win a single seat in these assembly constituencies in Saurashtra. The BJP won the state polls but wasn't able to breach this bastion that has traditionally voted for Congress. On Day 3, PM Modi will hold three rallies in Surendranagar, Bharuch and Navsari. While Bharuch was the constituency of the former Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the past, the BJP state president CR Patil who hails from Navsari has been winning this Lok Sabha seat with huge margins. Notably, Congress Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi is also expected to visit Navsari on November 21, the same day that PM Modi is expected to be in Navsari. PM Modi, who hails from Gujarat, is also expected to have a closed-door meeting with the state leaders during his stay here to further boost the party in the western state. In Gujarat, the BJP party has been in power for the last 27 years with Narendra Modi being the longest-serving chief minister of the state. This time the party under the leadership of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and CR Patil is aiming to fetch more than 140 seats. The state has been a BJP stronghold for a long and the party is confident of coming back and forming the government for the seventh term. Out of the 182 assembly seats in the state, 48 are in this region, where polling is to be held in the first phase itself on December 1. In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress won 28 seats here on the basis of the support it got due to the Patidar movement. Whereas, the number of MLAs in the Bharatiya Janata Party had come down from 30 in 2012 to just 19 here. The state of Gujarat which has 182 assembly constituencies will go for polling in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will occur on December 8, which coincides with Himachal Pradesh's result date.
SURAT (GUJARAT): Ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now at the peak of its campaigning and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, one of the party's star campaigners has so far addressed three rallies in the state -- including the industrial town of Surat. While he urged party workers to ensure a massive victory for the party he also put forward to them three very simple but achievable targets. Elaborating on the same the Assam chief minister told ANI, "We need to ensure that there is a win for BJP in Gujarat and that too a massive one because Gujarat has always led the way for the country." So how and why is the Gujarat win in 2022 assembly elections important for the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha elections? "The Gujarat elections will have a massive impact on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. This election result will create an ecosystem, which is very very critical for the general election and thereby vital for us to ensure Narendra Modi returns as the nation's Prime Minister for the third time in a row. It is important for the electorate of Gujarat to vote in huge numbers for BJP," the Assam CM said. During campaigning in Gujarat on Thursday, the Assam CM known who is known to be a fiery orator has been in big demand for campaigning by candidates. Dismissing contestants in the opposition like the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress party, Sarma hit out at Rahul Gandhi for missing out on campaign in poll-bound states. "There is a weird pattern that I have seen in recent that Rahul Gandhi does not campaign for his party. If there is a cricket match in Guwahati you will find Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat. He will be padded and sitting with a bat but will not come on the ground and play, " Himanta said taking a jibe at the Gandhi scion. BJP will top the winning list and the other parties will only be vying for the second and third spot, said Sarma. "The BJP will be the top party in the state it is a battle between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party for the second and third spot. They are no contest to us."After a day of three rallies in the state, the Assam chief minister is expected to return to Gujarat for another leg of campaigning on November 22. In the 2017 Gujarat polls, the BJP was halted at 99 seats out of a total 182 seats. The party has been in power for the last 27 years with Narendra Modi being the longest-serving chief minister of the state. This time, the party under the leadership of PM Modi, Amit Shah and CR Paatil is aiming at getting its highest seat tally exceeding 140. The state has been a BJP stronghold for a long and the party has set its sights on returning to power for the seventh term. The state of Gujarat which has 182 assembly constituencies will go for polling in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will occur on December 8, which coincides with Himachal Pradesh's result date.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior BJP leaders are expected to hold several road shows and public rallies in Gujarat as the party looks to rev up its election campaign to retain power in the state. Modi is likely to hold a road show in Vapi in Gujarat on November 19 and other senior leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, will also spearhead the mass contact programme in different parts of the state, party leaders said. After arriving in his home state on November 19, the prime minister is expected to hold public meetings across the state in the next two days. Shah, who has been frequently camping in the state to give final touches to the party's poll strategy and campaign, may hold over 30 public meetings for the elections scheduled for December 1 and 5, party sources said. Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari will also campaign intensively, they said. The BJP has won assembly polls in the state for six consecutive times since 1995 and is pulling out all the stops to keep its winning streak uninterrupted in the traditionally bipolar poll involving the Congress, which has spiced up this time by the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Rahul Gandhi may visit Gujarat's Navsari on Monday.Ahmedabad: Taking a break from his party's back-to-basics Bharat Jodo Yatra traversing the entire length of the country from the south, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi is set to campaign in Gujarat on Monday for next month's state elections.His visit will coincide with one by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been devoting far more time to electioneering ahead of the polls in his home state.Elections in Gujarat are scheduled to be held in two phases, on December 1 and 5. Votes will be counted on December 8.While details of Rahul Gandhi's visit are set to be announced on Friday, PM Modi's trip is expected to cover at least eight programmes criss-crossing the state from Saurashtra to Surat.The highlight of PM Modi's tour is his visit to the famous Somnath Temple on Sunday. The Prime Minister is also the chairman of the Somnath Temple Trust.On Saturday, evening after landing in Gujarat, the Prime Minister will address a rally in Valsad.The next day, after visiting the Somnath Temple, he is scheduled to address four rallies in the Saurashtra region at Veraval, Dhorarji, Amreli and Botad.In the last assembly elections, the BJP was not able to win a single seat in these assembly constituencies in Saurashtra, most of which has traditionally voted for the Congress.On Day 3, PM Modi will hold three rallies in Surendranagar, Bharuch and Navsari.While Bharuch was the constituency of the former Congress stalwart Ahmed Patel in the past, the BJP state president CR Patil who hails from Navsari has been winning the Lok Sabha seat with huge margins.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comRahul Gandhi is also likely to visit Navsari on Monday.PM Modi is also expected to have a closed-door meeting with the state leaders during his stay.Featured Video Of The DayDeepika-Ranveer's Airport Style: Classic, Quirky And Everything In Between
With less than a fortnight left for the phase 1 polling in Gujarat, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is all set to address his first public meeting from South Gujarat near Panchkakda village in Mahuva taluka of Surat district on November 21. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend a roadshow in Vapi and address a public meeting in Valsad on November 19, Saturday.AICC Gujarat incharge Raghu Sharma, Praveen Khera, Bharatsinh Solanki and Vansda Congress MLA Anant Patel, among others, were in Navsari to review preparations ahead of Rahul’s public meeting in South Gujarat. Panchkakda borders the Vansda seat of Navsari district.“We have got confirmation from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi about his visit to Gujarat. We are expecting over one lakh people. The tribal community has great respect for the Gandhi family,” said Anant Patel.Congress leader Gaurav Pandya said, “He (Rahul) has been marching for around 2,000 kilometres on foot for the Bharat Jodo Yatra, which no political leader has done so far. He had agreed to spend some time for the public meeting in South Gujarat. We have come to know that since PM Narendra Modi had earlier addressed public meetings at Panchkakda village, there is even a readymade helipad over there. The ground has a capacity for around two lakh people. So, there is no shortage of space.”PM Modi is expected to address a public meeting and a roadshow in Valsad district on Saturday. “PM Modi will reach Daman (Union territory) and after inaugurating a few projects, he will reach Vapi where he will do a roadshow. He will address a public meeting at 7.30 pm at Jujva village in Valsad taluka. We have made arrangements for the public meeting after getting permission from the PMO,” said Valsad district BJP president Hemant Kansara.
AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will head to poll-bound Gujarat this weekend and is expected to participate in at least eight programmes crisscrossing the state from Saurashtra to Surat. The highlight of PM Modi's tour is his visit to the famous Somnath Temple on November 20. The Prime Minister is also the chairman of the Somnath Temple Trust. On November 19 evening after landing in Gujarat the Prime Minister will address a rally in Valsad. On November 20, after visiting the Somnath Temple, he is scheduled to address four rallies in the Saurashtra region. Venues have been finalised at Veraval, Dhorarji, Amreli and Botad. Incidentally, in the last assembly elections, the BJP was not able to win a single seat in these assembly constituencies in Saurashtra. The BJP won the state polls but wasn't able to breach this bastion that has traditionally voted for Congress. On Day 3, PM Modi will hold three rallies in Surendranagar, Bharuch and Navsari. While Bharuch was the constituency of the former Congress tall man Ahmed Patel in the past, the BJP state president CR Patil who hails from Navsari has been winning this Lok Sabha seat with huge margins. Incidentally, Congress Lok Sabha MP Rahul Gandhi is also expected to visit Navsari on November 21, the same day that PM Modi is expected to be in Navsari. PM Modi, who hails from Gujarat, is also expected to have a closed-door meeting with the state leaders during his stay to further boost the party in the western state. In Gujarat, the BJP party has been in power for the last 27 years with Narendra Modi being the longest-serving chief minister of the state. This time the party under the leadership of Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and CR Patil is aiming to fetch more than 140 seats. The state has been a BJP stronghold for long and the party confident of coming back and forming the government for the seventh term. The state of Gujarat which has 182 assembly constituencies will go for polling in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will occur on December 8, which coincides with Himachal Pradesh's result date.
AHMEDABAD: As part of an ongoing multi-agency investigation into a fake billing scam, state goods and services tax (SGST) officials have unearthed fake billing of Rs 650 crore. This figure is expected to rise, according to senior SGST officials. Last week, the SGST department along with the Gujarat anti-terrorist squad (ATS) and Ahmedabad crime branch raided 205 locations linked to 115 companies suspected to be fake entities existing only on paper. Some 41 firms have been confirmed to be bogus entities. Top sources privy to the development said GST evasion of up to Rs 100 crore has already been reported in this case and the number will rise as the investigation progresses. Some 91 persons are being questioned by SGST and ATS officials in connection with the case. "We have also come across forgery of documents and impersonation. The investigation is now divided between ATS and SGST. While tax officials are probing evasion and fraudulently availed input tax credit, ATS is investigating the movement of the money. There is a strong suspicion of laundering of the proceeds of the scam," said a well-placed source. According to sources in the SGST department, tax recovery is expected to be a major challenge. "The focus is on securing incriminating documents and investigating further so that the extent of scam can be determined. This will also help tax officials to nab the 24 accused persons who are still at large," the source added. Of the bogus firms, 14 were registered in Ahmedabad, 12 in Vadodara, nine in Surat, three in Bhavnagar, two in Rajkot and one in Gandhidham. Each of these would generate bills for commodities such as scrap, metal scrap, metals, chemicals, and metal rods, to obtain and pass on illicitly obtained input tax credit. Last Saturday, officials of the SGST department and central agencies raided 205 locations in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Valsad, Rajkot, Panchmahal, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Kutch, Kheda, Narmada, Mahisagar, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, and Anand regarding this case.
AHMEDABAD: In what appears to be a high-value bogus billing scam that has surfaced just ahead of the Gujarat assembly election, the state goods and services tax (SGST) department along with ATS and Ahmedabad crime branch raided the premises of some 115 suspected bogus companies, since early on Saturday morning. Based on technical intelligence, SGST officials identified bogus companies in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Valsad, Rajkot, Panchmahal, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Kutch, Kheda, Narmada, Mahisagar, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, and Anand. SGST officials carried out raids across 205 locations in these cities. Some 90 teams have been deployed. SGST officials said 91 persons are being interrogated in relation with this case. The preliminary investigation revealed that each bogus firm was used to generate and issue bills for commodities such as scrap, metal scrap, metals, chemicals, and metal rods, to avail and pass on illicitly obtained input tax credit. More bogus firms have also come to the fore during the investigation. Officials expect higher tax evasion to be reported as the investigation progresses. Sources privy to the developments said during the investigation of fake billing scams reported recently, it was found that illicitly obtained input tax credit using fake bills was used to fund illegal activities. “In the past, in certain cases, we found that fake companies registered in Gujarat have bank accounts in remote locations such as Assam. More recently, the Reserve Bank alerted central agencies in Indore and Mumbai about high-value transactions taking place through Paytm, based on which the GST evasion scam involving 500 fake companies was unearthed and four persons were arrested in Surat. In this case, it is suspected that money siphoned off using fake bills is being transferred through hawala. We are still investigating,” a top source told TOI. Bogus companies identified in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Valsad, Rajkot, Panchmahal, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Kutch, Kheda, Narmada, Mahisagar.
AHMEDABAD: In what appears to be a high-value bogus billing scam that has surfaced just ahead of the state assembly election, the state goods and services tax (SGST) department along with ATS and Ahmedabad crime branch raided the premises of some 115 suspected bogus companies, since early on Saturday morning. Based on technical intelligence, SGST officials identified bogus companies in Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Valsad, Rajkot, Panchmahal, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Kutch, Kheda, Narmada, Mahisagar, Bhavnagar, Bharuch, and Anand. SGST officials carried out raids across 205 locations in these cities. Some 90 teams have been deployed. SGST officials said 91 persons are being interrogated in relation with this case. The preliminary investigation revealed that each bogus firm was used to generate and issue bills for commodities such as scrap, metal scrap, metals, chemicals, and metal rods, to avail and pass on illicitly obtained input tax credit. More bogus firms have also come to the fore during the investigation. Officials expect higher tax evasion to be reported as the investigation progresses. Sources privy to the developments said during the investigation of fake billing scams reported recently, it was found that illicitly obtained input tax credit using fake bills was used to fund illegal activities. "In the past, in certain cases, we found that fake companies registered in Gujarat have bank accounts in remote locations such as Assam. More recently, the Reserve Bank alerted central agencies in Indore and Mumbai about high-value transactions taking place through Paytm, based on which the GST evasion scam involving 500 fake companies was unearthed and four persons were arrested in Surat. In this case, it is suspected that money siphoned off using fake bills is being transferred through hawala. We are still investigating," a top source told TOI. The economic offences cell of Surat police also recently arrested 16 persons for a fake billing scam, based on a tip-off about high-value transactions. "This scam appears to be well-calculated and spread across various states and districts. It involves a lot of offences of forgery and others not under the direct purview of the state commercial tax department. Therefore, other law enforcement agencies have been roped in for investigation so missing links can be identified," the source added.
Kaprada is one of the 182 Legislative Assembly constituencies of Gujarat state in India. It is part of Valsad district and is reserved for candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes. It came into existence after the 2008 delimitation. It first held elections in 2012, when Congress won the seat. As per the voter list of 2022, there are 260595 electorates and 306 polling stations in this constituency. This assembly seat represents segments from Kaprada Taluka and some villages from Pardi Taluka. Jitubhai Harjibhai Chaudhari of the Bharatiya Janata Party won the seat by defeating Babubhai Jivlabhai Patel of the Indian National Congress in 2020 by-polls. Chaudhari secured 1,12,941 of the total votes polled. It is one of the seven assembly segments of the Valsad parliament seat. Valsad Lok Sabha constituency (formerly Bulsar Lok Sabha constituency) is one of the 26 Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituencies in Gujarat state. This seat is considered a bellwether seat in India. It is believed that the party which wins this seat will form the central government. As expected, K C Patel of the Bharatiya Janata Party currently holds this seat. He won with the margin of 353797 votes by defeating Chaudhari Jitubhai Harjibhai of the Indian National Congress.
Valsad is one of the 182 Legislative Assembly constituencies of the western state of Gujarat in India. It is located in Valsad district. This assembly seat represents segments from Valsad Taluka with villages such as Malvan, Kakwadi Danti, Olgam, Vasan, Rola, Kundi, etc. As per the voter list of 2022, there are 261411 electorates and 273 polling stations in this constituency. Bharatbhai Kikubhai Patel from the Bharatiya Janata Party is the present MLA of this assembly constituency. He won this seat in the 2017 assembly election grabbing 60.49% of the total votes polled, when the overall voter turnout was 68.97% in this constituency. This seat falls under the Valsad Lok Sabha constituency. Valsad Lok Sabha constituency (formerly Bulsar Lok Sabha constituency) is one of the 26 Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituencies in Gujarat state. This seat is considered a bellwether seat in India. It is believed that the party which wins this seat will form the central government. As expected, K C Patel of the Bharatiya Janata Party currently holds this seat. He won with the margin of 353797 votes by defeating Chaudhari Jitubhai Harjibhai of the Indian National Congress.
Vansda is one of the 182 Legislative Assembly constituencies of Gujarat state in India and was created after the delimitation process in 2008. It is part of Navsari district and is reserved for candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes (ST). It falls under the Valsad Lok Sabha constituency. This assembly seat represents segments from Vansda Taluka and some villages of Chikhli Taluka. As per the voter list of 2022, there are 297782 electorates and 330 polling stations in this constituency. Anantkumar Hasmukhbhai Patel of the Indian National Congress won the seat by defeating Mahla Ganpatbhai Ulukbhai of the Bharatiya Janata Party with a margin of 18393 votes in the last held 2017 state elections. Valsad Lok Sabha constituency (formerly Bulsar Lok Sabha constituency) is one of the 26 Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituencies in Gujarat state. This seat is considered a bellwether seat in India. It is believed that the party which wins this seat will form the central government. As expected, K C Patel of the Bharatiya Janata Party currently holds this seat. He won with the margin of 353797 votes by defeating Chaudhari Jitubhai Harjibhai of the Indian National Congress.
Gandevi is one of the 182 Legislative Assembly constituencies of the western state of Gujarat in India. It falls under Navsari district and is reserved for candidates belonging to the Scheduled Tribes (ST). ST voters in this constituency are approximately 116,037 which is around 41.79% of the total population as per 2011 Census. This assembly seat represents segments from Gandevi Taluka and Chikhli Taluka. As per the latest voter list of 2022, there are 290699 electorates and 311 polling stations in this constituency. Nareshbhai Maganbhai Patel of the Bharatiya Janata Party won the seat by defeating Sureshbhai Maganbhai Halpati of the Indian National Congress with a margin of 57261 votes in the last held 2017 assembly elections. This assembly seat is one of the seven assembly seats that come under Navsari Lok Sabha constituency. This constituency was created as a part of the implementation of delimitation of parliamentary constituencies in 2008. It first held elections in 2009 and its first member of parliament (MP) was Chandrakant Raghunath Patil of the Bharatiya Janata Party. As of the recent general elections in 2019, Patil represents this constituency.
He is the Aam Aadmi Party’s lead star campaigner in Gujarat after Arvind Kejriwal, holding rallies from Ahmedabad to Kutch. For over a month now, every weekend finds Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in Gujarat.The Opposition in Punjab has dubbed him an “absentee” CM. But AAP, which has few faces with national recognition, is counting on Mann, a comedian-turned-politician who was an indefatigable campaigner for the party in the Punjab elections, regaling audiences as he held up to 10 rallies a day.With its campaign slogan “Ek Moko Kejriwalne (one chance to Kejriwal)”, AAP is also projecting Mann as an extension of the kind of administration a Kejriwal-led party government can provide.Malwinder Singh Kang, AAP’s chief spokesperson in Punjab, said, “For now, Mann is only taking out road shows and addressing meetings on weekends. But after November 20, the party will intensify its campaign in Gujarat.”However, on the ground, it is contentious how successful AAP’s strategy is, as far as Mann goes. Gujarat has a minuscule Sikh population of roughly 50,000, concentrated in Gandhidham, Lakhpat in Kutch, Vadodara and Surat areas, some of which Mann has covered in his campaign. Apart from this, they are scattered across Bhavnagar, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Valsad, Navsari and Vapi.As per Jasbir Makhija, the former president of the Gurdwara Gobinddham in Ahmedabad: “The Sikh population in Gujarat is not supporting AAP but the BJP.”At least at some public meetings, audiences struggle to follow his Hindi, with a heavy Punjabi accent.An AAP leader says Mann’s importance for the party is at a deeper level. “After Kejriwal, Mann is akin to a brand ambassador for the party, having delivered in Punjab within six months of coming to power. When Mann goes and tells the electorate that his government has given jobs, announced a return to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), given 300 units of free power, it resonates. He is also targeting corruption. He is needed in Gujarat.”The leader adds that they believe that irrespective of the “language barrier”, Mann has a gift of connecting with his audience. “He strikes a chord as soon as he speaks… gets a huge applause. Recently, he took on leaders of traditional parties saying he was content being a TV personality and did not want to be a politician, but had to do so to change the system. His video went viral.”Portions of Mann’s speeches are also translated into Gujarati and run on AAP social media handles, especially the ones that counter the BJP directly.AAP has also been highlighting that it picked Mann by a public poll, just like they had done in Gujarat. Isudan Gadhvi was declared AAP’s CM face in Gujarat after the party asked people to send in their preference, and 76% reportedly picked Gadhvi.In his speeches, Mann invokes revolutionary leader and his idol Bhagat Singh, and urges youth to emulate the freedom fighter who died at 23 years, “the age when youngsters are demanding a motorbike from their parents”. During the Navratri festival, he along with Kejriwal attended a garba at Rajkot, where he shook a leg, much like the Punjab campaign.In Nikol and Shahibaug areas of Ahmedabad, where sanitation workers, outsourced employees, ASHA workers and contractual workers were in attendance, Mann spoke about “20,000 government jobs” given in Punjab under him, and the fall in electricity bills to zero for some 69 lakh people.Mann has campaigned in Kutch, Junagadh, Surendranagar, Sabarkantha, Dahod, Vadodara, Valsad, Surat, Panchmahal, Banaskantha, Navsari and Bharuch districts of Gujarat, and after the declaration of the election dates, held his first roadshows in the Muslim-dominated constiuencies of Ahmedabad city, which suffered in the 2002 riots.Incidentally, while Mann would have been more at home in the Himachal Pradesh, which borders Punjab and just finished voting, AAP has used his services more sparingly there, with its campaign focused on Gujarat.The Congress has attacked AAP over using Mann as a star campaigner, and leaving Punjab to bureaucrats and to “the mercy of God”. Calling Mann the “most ineffective CM” of the state, Leader of Opposition Partap Bajwa said law and order in Punjab had “collapsed”, citing murders of kabbadi players Sandeep Singh Nangal Ambian and Dharminder Singh, as well as singer Sidhu Moosewala.“The people of Punjab are reeling under a constant sense of insecurity because of rising crimes and gangsterism… This isn’t the kind of badlav (change) the people wanted when they chose the AAP government,” Bajwa added.With inputs from Ritu Sharma
SURAT: Majority of BJP’s sitting MLAs have been repeated in south Gujarat including those holding posts in the present Bhupendra Patel government. But the ones who were dropped have not been protesting either. Among ministers Kanu Desai and Jitu Chaudhary from Valsad and Naresh Patel from Navsari have been repeated. From Surat city, ministers Purnesh Modi, Harsh Sanghavi, Vinod Moraidya and Mukesh Patel have been given another chance. Considering their performance in previous elections, a majority of the candidates are expected to win their seats. Former ministers in the Vijay Rupani government including Magrol MLA Ganpat Vasava, Bardoli MLA Ishvar Parmar, Umargam MLA Raman Patkar, and Varachha Road MLA Kumar alias Kishore Kanani too were given tickets. Meanwhile, supporters of the candidates who were informed over phone on Wednesday night started to celebrate early on. Many supporters gathered at the residence of the BJP leaders at night itself to congratulate them. The candidates who were informed last night have already started preparing to fill their forms. A few chosen BJP leaders, including the candidates whose names have been announced, were told to collect required documents almost five days ago from government offices to be submitted at time of form filing. The leaders collected the documents secretly without much publicity to avoid getting noticed by detractors within the party.
The Aam Aadmi Party Thursday replaced Bharatsinh Chavda, its candidate for Khambhat seat in Anand district.The party announced its 14th list of 10 new candidates in Ahmedabad for the upcoming Assembly polls. In the Khambhat seat, AAP declared Arun Gohil as the new candidate, replacing Bharatsinh Chavda, against BJP MLA Mayur Raval. Bharatsinh Chavda was initially fielded in the 10th list earlier this month. This is the fifth time the party is replacing a candidate in a span of one week. On November 8, AAP candidate from Dahegam seat in Gandhinagar, Yuvrajsinh Jadeja, dropped out of the contest days, while announcing another candidate Suhag Panchal in his place.Also, in its 13th list of candidates released Wednesday, AAP had replaced three candidates.From the Amraiwadi seat in Ahmedabad, Bharat Patel, an advocate, was replaced by Vinay Gupta. From Manjalpur seat in Vadodara, Viral Panchal has been replaced by Vinay Chavan. From the Vadodara City, Chandrika Solanki has been replaced by Jigar Solanki, an advocate. Chandrika Solanki was an ASHA worker, who was described by Italia as “a revolutionary woman to have fought and raised voice for the cause of ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, and for the women of Gujarat”. Of the remaining nine seats to which candidates were announced Thursday, four were won by Congress in 2017, the rest by BJP. One seat in Valsad is reserved for Scheduled Tribe category. In Banaskantha, Virchand Chavda has been fielded against the Congress MLA Gulabsinh Rajput. In Jamnagar district, Vishal Tyagi has been fielded from Jamnagar South against BJP MLA Ranchhod Faldu, and Hemant Khava has been fielded from Jamjodhpur against MLA Chirag Kalariya of the Congress. In Gir Somnath district, Devendra Solanki has been announced from Talala against the MLA Bhagwan Barad’s Congress seat, and Sejal Khunt has been fielded from Una, also a Congress seat held by Punja Vansh. Khumansinh Gohil was fielded against BJP MLA Parshottam Solanki in Bhavnagar Rural. From Karjan in Vadodara district, Paresh Patel has been fielded against BJP sitting MLA Akshay Patel. Pradeepkumar Mishra has been announced the candidate from Jalalpore of Navsari constituency against the BJP MLA RC Patel. And from Umbergaon constituency in Valsad district which is a Scheduled Tribe reserved seat, Ashok Patel is the AAP candidate against BJP MLA Ramanlal Patkar.
Vadodara: The 16th Gujarat State Eligibility Test (GSET) was successfully conducted at 11 centres across Gujarat on Sunday. A total of 86.2 % candidates appeared for the test that determines eligibility for the post of assistant professor in state universities and colleges. “Out of 34,864 registered candidates, 30,077 had appeared for the test resulting in 86.2% attendance. The candidates appeared in overall 25 subjects,” said professor C N Murthy, member secretary of GSET. He further said that the number of candidates who appeared this time have crossed the previous record. During the last GSET, a total of 28,905 candidates had appeared, he added.The GSET was held in the state for the second time this year. Earlier, the 15th GSET that was scheduled to be held in November last year after a gap of two years got postponed and was later conducted in January 2022, when it witnessed 71% attendance. Like the previous time, GSET was conducted at Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Surat, Patan, Bhavnagar, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Godhra, Junagadh, Valsad and Bhuj centres. “It was an OMR-based exam. The Vallabh Vidyanagar centre witnessed the highest percentage turnout of candidates at 91%,” he said, adding that the maximum number of candidates this time were in the subject of commerce followed by chemical science, biological science or life science, management and English.
NANA PONDHA (VALSAD): Addressing the first campaign rally in Gujarat after announcement of two-phase polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said every person of Gujarat now has a strong feeling of ownership in transforming the state. “Looking at the remarkable progress over the last 20 years, the inner voice in every Gujarati proudly proclaims ‘aa Gujarat mein banavyu che’”. Urging the crowd to chant the slogan, he said the people of Gujarat have proved their resilience time and again. “Two decades ago, there was a thick air of despondency and uncertainty. After the 2001 earthquake, everyone thought Gujarat would never stand up. Also, there were frequent riots, resulting in murders of innocent people. Businesses used to shut for months together. But we the people of Gujarat picked up these challenges and decisively won over them,” Modi added. Seeking a record tally, he said, “I want to see my own record broken. Bhupendra’s record should be better than Narendra’s”, referring to incumbent Bhupendra Patel, drawing a loud applause. Modi refrained from naming the opposition but exuded confidence that the people would spurn all those unleashing a “barrage of falsehoods” to defame the state. Without naming Congress or AAP, the BJP star campaigner said “Gujarat has always emphatically rejected those spreading hate and trying to show the state in poor light”. “This election, too, these elements are going to meet the same fate.” Modi termed such themes canards. “These hate-mongers are wondering why, despite spreading so much falsehood and misinformation, people are not getting convinced. This is because people have built this state by their sheer hard work. They won’t buy such a bunch of canards.” Later in the evening, Modi participated in a Bhavnagar mass-marriage ceremony of 552 girls who had no fathers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick off the BJP’s election campaign in Gujarat with his first political rally in the tribal-dominated area of Nana Ponda in Kaprada taluka of Valsad Sunday.Huge dome structures, capable of accommodating nearly 80,000 people, are being erected in Kaprada taluka for the event.The BJP has a strong presence in South Gujarat, which is dominated by the tribal population. However, it is facing stiff competition from Vansda Congress MLA Anant Patel who started a movement against the Par Tapi Narmada river-linking project. Despite assurances from state BJP President CR Paatil, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Tribal Minister Naresh Patel that the project has been scrapped, Anant Patel, backed by several tribal bodies, has demanded a written assurance.The Kaprada Assembly seat is reserved for the Schedule Caste. Congress’s Jitubhai Chaudhary had won from this seat in 2012 and 2017. He, however, defected to the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in 2019. In 2020, Chaudhary was re-elected after the by-polls from the same seat on a BJP ticket and later, became the Minister of State for Fisheries and Kalpsar (independent Charge), Narmada, Water Resources and Water Supply in the Bhupendra Patel government.
Gandhinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick off his campaign for the upcoming assembly election on November 6 by addressing a rally at Kaprada in Valsad district of South Gujarat and participating in ‘Lagnotsav 2022’ in Bhavnagar. Party sources said the PM will arrive in Surat and proceed to Kaprada, where he will address a rally in the tribal-dominated region. The PM will then travel to Bhavnagar on the same day and attend the ‘Papa ni Pari: Lagnotsav 2022’ programme at the Jawahar Ground in Bhavnagar. The PM will return to Delhi by the late evening on the same day, sources said. tnn
AHMEDABAD: Nearly a fourth of the 182 assembly seats in Gujarat have not changed hands from one political party to another since 1998. Voters have shown unshakeable faith in a candidate or a party in these 47 seats which are spread across the state. The number of such impregnable bastions goes up to a total of 55 seats if one takes into account the past four elections since 2002. Over the past 24 years, while BJP has not lost 31 seats, Congress has managed to hold on to 15. One seat is the stronghold of Chhotu Vasava, the founder of Bharatiya Tribal Party, who hasn’t lost from there since 1995. A majority of BJP’s invincible seats fall in cities — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, and Rajkot — while Congress has steadfastly retained its bastions in rural and tribal areas of central and south Gujarat despite being out of power for nearly three decades. That there has been no power shift in these 47 seats is significant since both BJP and Congress faced major realignments in voter base because of delimitation in 2012. Moreover, to some extent, the voters of these seats have been loyal to their respective parties in general elections too. Though BJP won all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, Congress got sizable leads in nine assembly segments of its strongholds. In 2014 too, when BJP bagged all the 26 seats, the Congress candidates led in 17 assembly segments. Seats where voters have backed BJP continuously for last 22 years are Visnagar, Mehsana, Idar, Ellisbridge, Naroda, Maninagar, Sabarmati, Asarwa, Wadhwan, Rajkot West, Rajkot South, Rajkot Rural, Keshod, Mahuva (Bhavnagar), Botad, Nadiad, Kalol (Panchmahal), Waghodia, Vadodara City, Sayajigunj, Raopura, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Olpad, Surat North, Surat West, Choryasi, Jalalpore, Navsari, Gandevi and Valsad. Read AlsoGujarat’s bill for free & fair polls likely to be Rs 450 croreGANDHINAGAR: A sum of Rs 450 crore is expected to be spent from the state exchequer for conducting a “free and fair” upcoming assembly election in Gujarat. The expenditure will be monitored by the office of the chief electoral officer (CEO), Gujarat under guidelines of the Election Commission ofAmong the seats where voters have remained loyal to Congress are Khedbrahma (ST), Dariapur, Jamalpur-Khadia (earlier known as Jamalpur as Khadia was a separate constituency), Jasdan, Borsad, Mahudha, Vyara, Danta (ST), Kaprada, Vansda, Bhiloda and Vadgam. The Jasdan assembly seat of Saurashtra is an exception. It was won by Congress five times in a row since 1998. But after the 2017 assembly election, the sitting Congress MLA, Kunvarji Bavaliya, switched over to BJP and won the byelection on a BJP ticket. A senior tribal belt leader who has won multiple times on the Congress ticket said that while there have been some exceptions, the tribal community has stood with Congress and a number of strong leaders have emerged from the community.
Gujarat will vote for 182 seats in the state assembly on December 1 and 5. But one constituency will have the maximum interest for being the bellwether for more than 45 years.Walking on Valsad’s Tithal beach on a trip to Gujarat ahead of the 2007 assembly election, I asked a local man, a shopkeeper in the town, what the city was famous for. His reply was sharp: “Morarjibhai, mangoes (alphonso) and mosquitoes”. Narendra Modi was the then-chief minister of Gujarat but the former PM was more relatable to locals, though the BJP had been winning the elections. Ten years later, when Modi as the prime minister addressed an election rally in Valsad seeking vote for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he spoke about a phone call a year ago, during his Sadbhavana fast, to Sumitraben of Dharmapur in the district. He reminded the audience of the soup she had prepared for him when he visited Dharmapur. Valsad had got its fourth M - Modi. This fourth M will be tested in the upcoming Gujarat assembly election, dates for which were announced on Wednesday. Gujarat votes in two phases on December 1 and 5 for all its 182 seats. But one seat that stands out in Gujarat is of Valsad. This is power’s lucky charm in the state. One who gets it rules the state. The BJP has been winning the Valsad assembly constituency for 32 years and has been in the power equation for the same period. Before that it was the Congress, which won Valsad and ruled Gujarat. Valsad has remained an unflinching bellwether for Gujarat elections since 1975. In 1975, Indian National Congress (O) candidate Keshav Patel won the Valsad seat. That year, the Congress’s breakaway faction, Congress (O) formed the government, forming a coalition government with the Bharatiya Jan Sangh. In 1980, Congress candidate Dolatbhai Desai — the longest reigning MLA from Valsad — won the seat and his party formed the government in Gujarat. He lost the seat as an Independent candidate in 1985 to Barjorji Pardiwal of the Congress. Congress formed the government. In 1990, Desai switched over to the BJP, winning the Valsad seat for the second time. The BJP formed an alliance with the Janata Dal to form the government led by Chimanbhai Patel. The BJP’s Keshubhai Patel became the deputy chief minister. The coalition, however, collapsed soon. Desai went on to win the seat four more times, in 1995, 1998, 2002 and the last time in 2007. The BJP formed the government after all these elections. In 2012, the BJP fielded Bharatbhai Patel, who has retained the seat for 10 years for the party. The BJP, too, has remained undefeated in Gujarat. The last time, Patel defeated Narendra Kumar Tandel at the Valsad seat. This time, the BJP faces a new challenge in the form of Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which is seeking to replace the Congress as the lead challenger in Gujarat. With Valsad having been an election bellwether also for the Lok Sabha elections since the first major challenger, the Janata Party, emerged on the Indian political scene, this seat will have all eyes glued on when it goes to the polls on December 1 and when the Gujarat Assembly election results are announced on December 8.
The elections to the Gujarat Assembly in December will see the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) being enforced for the shortest period—38 days—in at least the past 20 years in the state.MCC is enforced from the date the Election Commission announces the poll schedule and remains operational till the process of elections is completed, on December 10. EC keeps a tab on meetings, expenditure, public rallies, use or misuse of mass media, etc, during this period. When quizzed on the shortened period of MCC for Gujarat, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said in Delhi, “In the general elections in Delhi, a similar period was given. The schedule was declared on January 14, 2020, and the date of completion was February 13—exactly 38 days. So it is not the first.”Election Commission records show that MCC declared for Gujarat polls is the shortest in at least the past 20 years in the state. In December 2002, when polls were held in a single phase and EVMs were being used for the first time in the state, the period of MCC stretched for close to 50 days. It was the year when the assembly was dissolved prematurely in July 2002 and the BJP called for early polls.In 2007, when state assembly elections were held in two phases with Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat voting on a single day, and North and Central Gujarat on a different day, the period of MCC stretched to 78 days. In the past two decades, the 2012 assembly elections had the longest duration—83 days—of MCC. In 2017, MCC was only for 57 days.When asked if a reduced MCC affects the election campaigning, Congress spokesperson in Gujarat, Manish Doshi, said, “The elections for both Himachal and Gujarat should have been announced together as counting for both states will be held on December 8. The time that we usually get for campaigning after the announcement of polls now stands reduced. But it will not hamper us as we started work for the polls in February with the Dwarka declaration.” The ‘Dwarka Declaration’—released in February after a three-day brain-storming (Chintan Shivir) session in the Gujarat town—showcased Congress’s vision for the state.On the other hand, AAP has gone public with its list of 108 candidates even before the declaration of polls in the state.Meanwhile, Dr Dhaval Patel, District Election Officer of Ahmedabad, Thursday said the EC has begun implementing MCC by removing symbols of political parties defacing public places. “A meeting of government officials associated with district administration was also held in which they briefed about the MCC guidelines applicable to them,” Patel said, while talking to media persons at the district collectorate.In the first phase of polling in Gujarat on December 1, 89 constituencies in Kutch, Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions will go to vote. These include the districts of Kutch, Surendranagar, Morbi, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar, Botad, Narmada, Bharuch, Surat, Tapi, Dangs, Navsari and Valsad.In the second phase, the remaining 93 seats of North Gujarat and Central Gujarat, including the districts of Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Anand, Kheda, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara and Chotta Udepur, will go to polls.
AROUND TWO weeks after the state government demolished around 300 houses, huts and godowns at Jakhau harbour terming them “unauthorised” constructions, fishermen of the harbour Tuesday demanded that the government lease land to their association to keep the harbour with an annual turnover of Rs 4,000 crore going.Leaders of a fishermen’s association of Jakhau submitted a memorandum to Kutch District Collector Dilip Rana, drawing his attention to people living in the open in Jakhau after their homes and huts were demolished during a demolition drive last month even as weather has started turning cold due to the approaching winter.The fishermen leaders said that children were also forced to sleep in the open and requested the district collector visit the harbour to ascertain ground situation.The fishermen leaders also claimed that they were paying rent to the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) since 1972 but GMB transferred power of collecting the rent to Jakhau village panchayat in 2007-08 without any formal order. They demanded that the government lease 10 to 12 hectares land to Jakhau Bandar Fishermen and Boat Association (JBFBA), an association of fishermen of Jakhau for 99 years so that houses, shops, ice factories, cold storages, fish drying yards etc can be built and keep the harbour which has annual fisheries turnover worth Rs 4,000 crore going.“You are aware that village panchayat is around 12 km away from Jakhau port and no private land is available nearby. Therefore, we, the users and fishermen of Jakhau harbour have no other option to develop such facilities,” stated the memorandum.The memorandum added that around 10,000 fishermen from coastal districts like Valsad, Jamnagar, Devhumi Dwarka, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Union Territory Diu as well as local fishermen of Jakhau operate around 1400 boats from Jakhau harbour for 10 months every year and provide employment opportunities to 12000 others.In another memorandum, fishermen demanded that Paschim Gujarat Vij Company Limited (PGVCL), restore power supply to around 500 premises.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Tuesday announced its 22 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections in its eighth list, making a total of 108 candidates announced so far. AAP Gujarat president Gopal Italia announced the candidates at a press conference in Botad. Out of 22 assembly seats for which the AAP declared its candidates, 15 seats were won by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2017, and the rest by the Congress. Of these, four seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes, of which three are in Valsad district and one in Chhota Udepur district. Chandrika Solanki has been fielded from the Scheduled Caste reserved seat in Vadodara city constituency. Italia described her as “a revolutionary woman to have fought and raised voice for the cause of ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, and for the women of Gujarat”. The party has fielded Yuvrajsinh Jadeja from Dahegam constituency in Gandhinagar district, Paras Shah from Ellisbridge, Pankaj Patel from Naranpura, Vipul Patel from Maninagar, Captain Chandu Bamroliya from Dhandhuka in Ahmedabad district. “We will also participate in the state wide mourning (for Morbi tragedy)… yesterday, we organised candle marches in all the assembly constituencies in Gujarat for the dead and injured,” said Italia. From Saurashtra region, Ravi Dhanani will contest from Amreli, Jaysukh Detroja from Lathi, Bharat Baldaniya from Rajula, Amreli, and Raju Solanki from Bhavnagar west, which is held by minister Jitu Vaghani, an MLA from this seat for two terms. All the candidates declared in Amreli were with the Congress earlier. In South Gujarat, Mahipatsinh Chauhan will contest from Matar in Kheda district, Radhika Rathva from ST-reserved Jetpur in Chhota Udepur district, Ajit Thakor from Dabhoi, Chandrika Solanki from Vadodara city, Shashank Khare from Akota and Hiren Shirke from Raopura in Vadodara district, Sajid Rehan from Jambusar, Manhar Parmar from Bharuch in Bharuch district, Upesh Patel from Navsari and Pankaj Patel from ST-reserved Vansda in Navsari district, Kamlesh Patel from ST-reserved Dharampur, Ketan Patel from Pardi and Jayendra Gavit from ST-reserved Kaprada in Valsad district.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Gujarat has declared a list of 237 new office-bearers, including two new state vice-presidents, six state joint general secretaries, a Lok Sabha secretary, about 56 members in its main wing, and other 138 in other wings.According to a list shared by the AAP, the two new vice-presidents are Chaitar Vasava from Narmada and Arvind Solanki from Ahmedabad. Vasava was Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP) district president and joined the AAP early in October.Among the six new state joint secretaries is Chandrika Solanki, who has also been declared a candidate from Vadodara city. Three others are from Bhavnagar and one each from Morbi and Rajkot. Ram Vaja has been appointed as Lok Sabha Secretary from Gir Somnath.The other posts created are those of district vice-presidents, district secretary, district media in charge, district social media incharge, and district joint secretaries.This is being done as a part of overhauling the party that started in June, wherein the party has changed its structure from “president-based” to “incharge-based”, as told by Isudhan Gadhvi, AAP national joint general secretary.As per the list, the highest number of new appointees are from Porbandar. About 138 members have been given in charge of various wings under the party.
AHMEDABAD: Western Railway will introduce Valsad-Vadnagar Intercity Express (Daily) from Thursday. The regular service of the train will run from Friday. As per a press release, the Valsad–Vadnagar-Valsad Superfast Special will leave Valsad daily at 5.45am and reach Vadnagar at 12.45pm. Similarly, the train will leave Vadnagar at 4.45pm and reach Valsad at 12.35am, the next day. The train will halt at Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand, Nadiad, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar Capital and Mahesana stations in both the directions. The train comprises of AC Chair Car, Chair Car, General Second-Class coaches. On the inaugural run on Thursday Valsad–Vadnagar Superfast Special will depart Valsad at 09.15 am to reach Vadnagar at 4.45 pm. Similarly, in the leave Vadnagar at 5.20 pm and reach Valsad at 12.55am, the next day. The booking of the inaugural run of Train No. 09015/09016 will open on Wednesday and the booking of regular run of Train will open from Thursday.
As assembly polls inch closer, the Gujarat government on Friday announced a Rs 630 crore assistance package for more than 8 lakh farmers who reported crop losses due to heavy rains during the 2022 Kharif season.According to a statement released by the government, farmers in 14 districts suffered crop losses due to flooding in their farms. This included farmers of 2,554 villages of Chotta Udepur, Narmada, Panchamahal, Navsari, Valsad, Dangs, Tapi, Surat, Kutch, Junagadh, Morbi, Porbandar, Anand and Kheda districts.This assistance package from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the state budget will cover an estimated 9.12 hectares of affected agricultural land. The package will cover farmers who have suffered more than 33 per cent losses on their farms.The farmers will be paid Rs 6,800 per hectare. The assistance, however, will be restricted to a maximum of two hectares. For banana-growing farmers, this assistance is about Rs 30,000 per hectare, for a maximum of two hectares.To avail of the package, farmers have to apply online, the release added.
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Friday announced a relief package of Rs 630.34 crore for farmers who suffered losses due to heavy rains this monsoon, the move coming ahead of assembly polls likely to be held by the end of the year. The relief package was cleared in the state cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Bhupendra Patel earlier in the day and is expected to benefit eight lakh farmers in 2,554 villages in 14 districts, officials said. The package was announced after a loss-assessment survey was carried out in these districts, namely Chhotaudepur, Narmada, Panchmahal, Navsari, Valsad, Dang, Tapi, Surat, Kutch, Junagadh, Morbi, Porbandar, Anand and Kheda, they added. An official release said farmers, as part of the package, will get compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare with a limit of two hectares if the crop loss (except banana plantation) was equal or above 33 per cent due to excessive rain during the previous Kharif season in the state. "The compensation will be given from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and from the state budget. The compensation for the loss of banana plantation has been kept at 30,000 per hectare with a limit of two hectares," the release added. The minimum compensation has been fixed at Rs 4,000, even if the crop loss is less than this amount, officials informed. Affected farmers will have to submit online applications with all required details and documents through e-Gram centres in their villages, said the release. Farmers are not required to pay any application fee or charges, it asserted.
The compensation will be given from the State Disaster Response Fund. (Representational)Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Friday announced a relief package of Rs 630.34 crore for farmers who suffered losses due to heavy rains this monsoon, the move coming ahead of Assembly polls likely to be held by the end of the year.The relief package was cleared in the state cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel earlier in the day and is expected to benefit eight lakh farmers in 2,554 villages in 14 districts, officials said.The package was announced after a loss-assessment survey was carried out in 14 districts: Chhotaudepur, Narmada, Panchmahal, Navsari, Valsad, Dang, Tapi, Surat, Kutch, Junagadh, Morbi, Porbandar, Anand and Kheda.An official release said farmers, as part of the package, will get compensation of Rs 6,800 per hectare with a limit of two hectares if the crop loss (except banana plantation) was equal or above 33 per cent due to excessive rain during the previous Kharif season in the state."The compensation will be given from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) and from the state budget. The compensation for the loss of banana plantation has been kept at 30,000 per hectare with a limit of two hectares," the release added.The minimum compensation has been fixed at Rs 4,000, even if the crop loss is less than this amount, officials informed.Affected farmers will have to submit online applications with all required details and documents through e-Gram centres in their villages, said the release.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comFarmers are not required to pay any application fee or charges, it asserted.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)