HOME   
   NEWS   
   BUSINESS   
   CRICKET   
   SPORTS   
   MOVIES   
   NET GUIDE   
   SHOPPING   
   BLOGS  
   ASTROLOGY  
   MATCHMAKER  


Search:



The Web

Rediff








Election
Headlines
Poll Archives
Newslinks
News
Dear Rediff
The States



Home > Election > PTI

Even tussle between Cong, BJP in Nadiad

December 06, 2002 19:36 IST

In Sardar Patel's birthplace, Nadiad, Chote Sardar Narendra Modi may have a disadvantage.

There is apathy towards communal violence, concern about recession and the Congress candidate is a sitting Member of Parliament, who has won every election he fought here over the past 30 years.

That is not all.

The minorities allege that the sitting legislator, Pankaj Desai "watched silently" when mob violence hit Nadiad town, less than 100 kms away from Ahmedabad.

Congress candidate Dinsha Patel, who has been a legislator in Nadiad for 22 years and a Lok Sabha member for the past eight years, is likely to give a tough time to his BJP rival.

Dinsha Patel says Hindutva is not an election issue here while Pankaj Desai exudes confidence that "Hindu sentiments" will tilt the balance in BJP's favour.

Though several small-time businessmen in the town express indifference over the recent riots and "politics", the communal divide is not entirely non-existent.

"The BJP is stronger after the riots. The party got all those who were arrested released," says Chetan Patel, who runs a telephone booth. But Rajendra Patel, who has a paan shop nearby, says everyone is affected by violence. "What has BJP done? What will it do if it comes to power?"

Dayal Das, who has a provision store, says he is not interested in politics and expects a close contest between the Congress and the BJP in Nadiad.

In a minority-dominated locality of the town, where there are around 22,000 Muslims in an electorate of 184,000, Arif Khan and Gani Khan, who run small shops, allege the local MLA just kept quiet when mobs looted properties of the Muslims.

"Dinshabhai has a good image here," they say. A former Gujarat minister Dinsha Patel says the decision to put him up as the candidate for the assembly election was taken by the All India Congress Committee.

"The Congress had won every time here since 1975 when I stood as a candidate."

His rival -- also a Patel -- says Dinsha has left Parliament and come to fight here just to ensure BJP's defeat in the seat. "We will demolish the unbeaten warrior record of the Congress candidate."

Desai does not have any hopes of getting a single Muslim vote but is sure that he will garner the support of the Christians, who account for around 10,000 votes in Nadiad. Dinsha is banking on the Patel votes, which are as high as 27,000 in Nadiad, where the business community constitutes a large chunk.


The Complete CoverageAsk Our ReportersMail Us Your Response

(c) Copyright 2002 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Share your comments



Article Tools

Email this Article

Printer-Friendly Format

Letter to the Editor




People Who Read This Also Read


VHP leader shot at

Seva Dal chief quits

Mixed reactions to Modi







HOME   
   NEWS   
   BUSINESS   
   CRICKET   
   SPORTS   
   MOVIES   
   NET GUIDE   
   SHOPPING   
   BLOGS  
   ASTROLOGY  
   MATCHMAKER  
Copyright © 2003 rediff.com India Limited. All Rights Reserved.