|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Gujarat: Nod for 'criminal' candidate to enter poll fray
November 27, 2007 18:18 IST
Involved in two criminal cases, Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the Gondal Assembly segment of the district has something to cheer about: the Supreme Court on Monday allowed Jayrajsingh Temubha Jadeja to campaign for the Assembly polls.
The high court had barred him from entering Rajkot at a time when the heat of the first phase of the elections was about to rise. Now, Jadeja, a sitting MLA, is out to prove that he can win the polls for a third time. Rajkot goes to the polls in the first phase on December 11.
His rival, the NCP candidate (Congress has given Gondal to the NCP in a seat-sharing pact), Chandubhai Vaghasiahas has been chiding him for having to stay away from
the fray. "It looks like bridegroom is missing from the marriage party," he said.
Jadeja is confident. "My campaign is managed by my friends whom I trust. They assured me that my absence would not come in my way of winning the polls," Jadeja said.
"I did not want to contest elections because the court had not allowed me to enter Rajkot. However, Chief Minister Narendra Modi was convinced that despite my legal position, I would be able to win the seat. So, it's Modi who has got me the ticket," said Jadeja.
The constituency has more than 60 per cent Leuva Patel (one of the two sub-castes of the Patels to which rebel leader Keshubhai Patel belongs) voters. The community has supported the BJP for the last two decades, but this time community leaders are leading a rebellion against Modi.
Jadeja, a Rajput, claims support of the Patel community. "Caste equations will not affect me. The Patels will continue to support the BJP," he said.