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Saurabh Patel back in ministry, likely to get key role

Saurabh Patel, the suave and urban face of the state government until not too long ago, is back in the thick of things. He was among the nine Cabinet ministers who were sworn-in along with chief minister Vijay Rupani and ten other ministers of state on Tuesday.The 59-year-old US-educated Patel was a fixture in the Narendra Modi government since 2002. He was minister of state for finance, energy, planning, civil aviation, industries and other key departments for a very long time.One of the visible ministers in the government, Patel was promoted to Cabinet rank when Modi came back to power in 2012 and was entrusted with energy, planning, tourism, civil aviation and other ministries. He was seen as a key link between the government and industry.Patel, whose wife Ila is a cousin of Mukesh and Anil Ambani, was appointed as finance minister in May 2014 when Anandiben Patel took over as the chief minister after Modi’s elevation as prime minister. He also held energy and other important departments.However, Patel was surprisingly dropped from the ministry when Vijay Rupani took over as the chief minister in August last year after Anandiben’s abrupt resignation.His sacking from the cabinet was attributed to controversies over various PSUs allegedly extending favours to companies linked with him. It was also believed that he had fallen out of favour with BJP president Amit Shah.Patel, who had contested from Akota seat in Vadodara in 2012, was fielded from Botad, his traditional seat, in 2017 elections. He, however, just scraped through, winning with a narrow margin of 906 votes against Congress candidate DM Patel. He is expected to be given important responsibilities, especially looking at the 2019 Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which is just a little over a year away.

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Senior-most Nitin Patel is No. 2 again

For the second time in little over a year, Nitin Patel, among the senior-most BJP leaders in Gujarat, and the one with vast experience in the government, was appointed as the state’s deputy CM.The first time it happened was in August last year, after Anandiben Patel’s abrupt resignation as CM. A staunch loyalist of Narendra Modi, Nitin Patel was actually seen as the front-runner for taking over as CM, but in a last-minute change, BJP picked Vijay Rupani as chief minister, and Patel was appointed his deputy. This time, his appointment as Number 2 was on expected lines. A six-time MLA, Patel won from Mehsana in the just-concluded assembly elections, staving off a tough fight from Congress candidate Jivabhai Patel, and 32 others. For the record, Mehsana had 34 candidates in the fray, the highest among all 182 seats.The 61-year-old, who was first elected to Kadi Municipality in the late 70s, was elected to the legislative assembly in 1990, 1995, 1998, 2007 and in 2012. He had lost narrowly from Kadi seat in Mehsana district in 2002 elections, which were held a few months after the post-Godhra riots.”I started from the municipality, and have reached the position of deputy CM. Crores of Gujaratis love and respect me. My party has given me many important responsibilities, and I am happy with what I have,” Patel had told DNA before the elections when asked about his aspirations for the CM’s post.Patel had first served as a minister in 1995, when BJP came to power in the state for the first time.

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Voters misled by BJP’s tall claims

Voters across Gujarat have been misled by the BJP’s tall caims, yet they continue to support the party, disregarding harsh realities, says Shashikant Patel, the Congress candidate from Ghatlodia constituency, who lost by a margin of 1,17,750 votes to his BJP rival Bhupendra Patel. He said that Ahmedabad has been allocated tens of thousands of rupees but the corresponding development is not visible.Patel, popularly known as Bhurabhai, is a realtor, while his BJP rival is a former chairman of Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority and a confidante of former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel. “I must have walked close to 250 km to meet people one on one. But we failed to convince voters,” he said.

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Gujarat elections 2017: Will Saurabh Patel card help BJP win Botad?

Can Gujarat BJP’s flamboyant leader Saurabh Patel who was once considered a successor to PM Narendra Modi and then to Anandiben Patel in the state pull a coup of sorts and rescue BJP in Patidar bastion of Botad.Saurabh has been away from the limelight since Vijay Rupani replaced Anandiben Patel as CM. Armed with an MBA degree from USA, Saurabh is the son-in-law of Ramnikbhai, the elder brother of late Dhirubhai Ambani. In Patel villages in the constituency, which has both Kadva and Leuva Patel, there is a discerning anger against the BJP. To make the matters worse for the ruling party, Congress has fielded a Leuva Pate leader DM Patel.But the development works done by Saurabh in the constituency when he represented it thrice before shifting to Akota Assembly seat in 2012, are recalled by people. BJP dropped its sitting MLA Maniya Thakarshibhai Devjibhai, who had won the seat with 86,184 votes in 2012 assembly polls. Complaints are galore in the constituency that the development pace triggered in the constituency by Patel, then a high- profile minister in Gujarat government, came to a halt between 2012 and 2017.That both the BJP and Congress are so keen on the constituency is clear from the fact that while BJP risked two seats dropping one sitting MLA and shifting the other, the Congress also brought in DM Patel, replacing Manhar Patel it earlier named for Botad just hours before the deadline for nomination filing expired to give a challenge the Gujarat’s former minister.At Sitaram Nagar in Botad, a BJP supporter Kalpesh Darbari says, “BJP would have lost the election had it not brought in Saurahbhai. DM Patel was initially in Congress. He then joined BJP and became Chairman in the marketing yard. This time he is back in Congress and contesting as MLA. But he is a light weight in comparison to Saurabhbhai.”In the nearby Sethadi village dominated by Patels, the issue of Patidar agitation for reservation kicks up a heated debate. “Saurabh Patel will not get our votes due to lotus (BJP’s poll symbol) this time. Yes we had earlier been voting for BJP but not this time,” says Jayesh Lania.In Nagalpad, Ankesh Patel who works in Morbi Ceramics, said, “Saurabh Patel will get some votes from the community, which has been a traditional BJP supporter. Darbaris, Prajapatis, Brahmins, Baniya, Dalvadis, Rawaldeo and some other smaller castes of OBC give a favourable response towards BJP.”At Nagalpad, Kalubhai Samant says “500 to 600 Rawaldeo community members went to Saurabh Patel recently and requested for a boundary wall to their shamshan. He has agreed.” He says he ”samaj” has been voting for BJP for long and there is no change even now.In the Koli- Patel (OBC) dominated Dhanduka Assembly segment BJP MLA Kolipatel Laljibhai Chatrubhai is contesting against Congress’ Rajesh Koli, a lawyer. Youth Congress worker overseeing the social media campaign of the constituency says he is baffled how Rajesh Koli’s name was announced as the district president of Congress Harpal Singh and Raju Bhai were stronger candidates.PADMAVATI AND PAANIAt Rayaka Village, the Rajput youths talk with gusto about Padmavati controversy. “We had protested against the release of the film. We are happy that the film was not released,” says Harpal Singh. Maganbhai in Botad recalls how the area faced acute water crisis which was resolved after Saurabh represented the constituency.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Gujarat elections 2017 | PM Modi to speak to 5,500 block-level Mahila workers

To deepen the outreach of BJP among women, who are believed to be a caste neutral constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will directly speak to 5500 block-level workers of Gujarat BJP Mahila Morcha on Friday.The move comes at a time when caste is ringing louder in Assembly election campaign of Gujarat and BJP’s rival Congress has sewn up an umbrella alliance with various caste and tribe leaders from among the OBC, Dalit, tribal and assertive Patel community.In 2014 Lok Sabha polls as well, women are said to have played an important role in BJP’s stupendous victory and the party has never been shy of flaunting its work towards empowering the women.Ironically, both Congress and BJP have together fielded only 21 candidates in the Assembly polls of Guajrat this time, which, constitute of around percent of total votes.Of the 977 candidates contesting for the first phase of polls only 57 are women. BJP general secretary in-charge for Gujarat Bupendra Yadav said that Modi will interact with 5500 block level workers of BJP Mahila Morcha in the state between 4.30 to 5 PM after they complete download of NaMo App by 4.30 on December 1. “The Prime Minister will hold a direct dialogue with them,” Yadav said. A party source said that Modi could also some of the questions during what is supposed to be a live video call.The BJP has been highlighting its contributions like PM Modi naming Anandiben Patel, a woman as Chief Minister of Gujrat when he demitted office after 2014 Lok Sabha polls to become Prime Minister.Sumitra Mahajan becoming Lok Sabha Speaker and Modi government giving two top portolios in the South Bloc—External Affiars Ministry to Sushma Swaraj and Defence Ministry to Nirmala Sitharaman, both of whom are also now members of the coveted Cabinet Committee on Security, are also highlighted by the BJP leaders.The BJP has also sought to reach out to Muslim women with its repeated assertion of support to the abolition of the practice of triple talaq. The government has also announced to discuss the issue in upcoming Winter session.During the interaction with BJP Mahila workers, the Prime Minister is expected to do a pep talk and encourage them to reach out to women in larger numbers.This is the first time in last two decades that BJP is seeing a keen contest in Gujarat.BJP leaders during interactions in Gujarat have repeatedly highlighted the schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana, Common Service Centre involving 33,000 women, 50 percent reservation in panchayat and other such decisions as Modi government’s push towards ensuring gender justice and women empowerment.On October 14, Swaraj interacted with one lakh women from across Gujarat in a Mahila Town Hall programme in Ahmedabad, which was hosted by BJP Gujarat Mahila Morcha via video conferencing as well as in person. Gujarat Mahila Morcha has also held a large number conferences in the run up to Gujarat polls.When Rahul Gandhi in October kicked up a controversy with his “women in shorts” not seen in RSS remarks, BJP’s female ministers including Swaraj were in the fore front, dubbing Gandhi’s remarks as “insult” to women.At a rally in Ahmedabad on October 14, Swaraj had reminded Gandhi that BJP had given four women chief ministers and four women governors to the country and that there are six women who were cabinet ministers in the BJP-led government.Swaraj, Union Minister Uma Bharti, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, former Guajrat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and cine star turned Lok Sabha MP Hema Malini figure in the list of BJP star campaigners.Anandiben Patel, is, however, yet to campaign anywhere. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP Sushmita Dev, former Union Ministers Kumari Selja and Ambika Soni, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and film star turned politician Nagma figure in the list of star campaigners.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Gujarat elections 2017: Crowds, music make last day of filing nominations a colourful affair

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Collector’s office near RTO is a place buzzing with activity on any normal day. But the crowd increased manifold on Monday, the last day of filing nominations for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections as candidates and their supporters thronged the office with shouts and loud music. BJP workers, including women who accompanied Ellisbridge candidate Rakesh Shah, all donned a saffron ‘paghdi’. “We had called a special person at our office to help us tie the paghdi. All BJP workers will be wearing it today,” said Rajika Kacheria, one of the supporters who waited for Shah.Heavy police bandobast was made outside the office to help in crowd management. The cops restricted the number of people who could accompany a candidate to five although the rule often went for a toss when the candidate was from the ruling BJP. In fact, when Bhupendra Patel, the BJP’s candidate from Ghatlodia came to file his nomination accompanied by former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, the guards including BSF jawans struggled to prevent the supporters from entering the office.In fact, the arrival of Anandiben was accompanied by large scale bursting of crackers.Congress candidate from Jamalpur — Khadia Imran Khedawala and his supporters —had to wait for sometime after the officials informed them that another candidate was in the room filing his nomination. Khedawalam, in the meantime, posed for photographs with supporters. Many people who had work at the Collector’s office, also found it difficult to enter the premises on account of heavy police security.

In final list of 34, BJP drops 4 MLAs, repeats a dozen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In its final list of 34 candidates announced on Monday morning, just hours before the deadline for filing of nominations expired, the ruling BJP repeated a dozen MLAs, while dropping four others, including a minister.According to the list, BJP’s sixth and final one, former minister Kaushik Patel will contest from Naranpura. The seat had fallen vacant recently after party president Amit Shah’s resignation following his election to Rajya Sabha.The BJP has nominated Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA) chairman Bhupendra Patel as the candidate from Ghatlodia seat, which former CM Anandiben Patel had won with a record margin of 1.10 lakh votes in 2012. Anandiben is not contesting the elections. Patel is seen as her loyalist.Six sitting MLAs from Ahmedabad city also figure in the list. They are Kishor Chauhan from Vejalpur, Rakesh Shah (Ellisbridge), Jagrupsinh Rajput (Bapunagar), Hasmukh Patel (Amraiwadi), Suresh Patel (Maninagar) and Arvind Patel (Sabarmati).Earlier, the BJP renominated Pradipsinh Jadeja (Vatva), Bhushan Bhatt (Jamalpur Khadia) and Jagdish Panchal (Nikol) from their existing seats.Nagarji Thakor, MLA from Radhanpur, and Limkheda (ST) MLA Vichhiya Bhuriya, were the other two MLAs who missed out.Former home minister Rajni Patel, who was dropped from the ministry last year, is among the repeated MLAs. He will contest from Becharaji seat of Mehsana. Rushikesh Patel (Visnagar), Ashok Patel (Gandhinagar North), Shambhuji Thakor (Gandhinagar South), Madhubhai Shrivastav (Waghodia) and Jitu Sukhadiya (Sayajigunj) are some of the other MLAs who have been repeated.

Denied ticket, Kodinar MLA Jethabhai Solanki quits

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MLA from Kodinar in Saurashtra, Jethabhai Solanki, resigned from the party and as a legislator on Saturday. Solanki’s resignation came after he was reportedly told he was not getting a ticket.Solanki submitted his resignation as MLA and parliamentary secretary to Speaker Ramanlal Vora. While he resigned only in the evening, his resignation letter was widely circulated on social media since afternoon.Talking to media persons after resigning, Solanki accused the state government of failing to act on issues faced by the Dalit community.“Whenever I discussed Dalit issues with the government, I was assured of action; but nothing has been done. (Then chief minister) Anandiben Patel made many good decisions for the Dalit community. I feel that was why she had go to,” he said.Referring to former MP Dinu Bogha Solanki, who is an accused in RTI activist Amit Jethava’s murder, Solanki said there were many criminals in the party.“This is why I decided not to contest elections nor remain a member of the BJP,” he said, adding he had not yet decided on joining the Congress.Solanki later went to Gujarat BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar and resigned from the party.

BJP, Congress’s war of words over Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A war of words erupted between the BJP and Congress over Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s legacy on the occasion of his birth anniversary on Tuesday.In Gandhinagar, chief minister Vijay Rupani said that the country’s situation would have been different had Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel become the prime minister.“Sardar Patel tried to take the country in the right direction, but the Congress meted out injustice to him. It is unfortunate that politics is being played in Sardar Patel’s name,” Rupani said after offering floral tributes to Sardar Patel.In Ahmedabad, former chief minister Anandiben Patel said that Sardar Patel did not get his due because of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Some dwarfs are using the Iron Man of India’s name for political gains. If Sardar Saheb had been meted out injustice, as the BJP leaders claim, he would have not shied away from taking on the Congress.”

Woman alleges son of duping her

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A complaint of cheating was lodged with Vasna police station by a 72-year-old woman, who alleged that her son and daughter-in-law had duped her.The complaint was lodged by Anandiben Patel,72, a resident of Shiddhart Apartment of Vasna area. She stated in her complaint that she had been living with her son Gaurang Patel and daughter-in-law Bhavina Patel. She alleged that the couple have been cheating her for the past three years. The duo had allegedly managed to get the house papers transferred to their name, which was originally in the name of Anandiben. Later, they allegedly took Rs 50,000 insurance money of Anandiben, which she was supposed to get.When Anandiben came to know about the incident, she started asking her son about it, when he threatened her that if she revealed the incident to anyone, he would kill her.After the incident on Sunday, she lodged a complaint with the Vasna police station against her son and daughter-in-law. The police have started an investigation.

DNA Evening Reads: Anandiben Patel vs Rahul Gandhi; UP school horror and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Anandiben Patel slams Rahul Gandhi over RSS shorts remark; demands apologyIn a strongly worded statement, BJP leader and ex-Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel has attacked Rahul Gandhi for her jibe at RSS. Rahul Gandhi speaking to a gathering of students took a jibe at Rahul Gandhi for lack of women. Rahul Gandhi said, “Their organisation is the RSS. How many women are there in the RSS… Have you ever seen any woman in shakhas wearing shorts?” he said mocking the traditional dress of the organisation. Click here to know more200 students fall ill after inhaling toxic fumesAround 200 students fell ill on Tuesday after inhaling toxic gas emitted by a sugar mill near a school in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district. Click here to know moreImam makes fun of gender equalityThe secretary of Jamiat Ulama has mocked gender equality with an outrageous comment on Tuesday. Speaking to ANI, he said, “”If you want equality, why don’t men and women carry pregnancy for 4.5 months each?” Click here to know moreHoneypreet Insan gets six-day police remandPanchkula court on Tuesday sent Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s ‘adopted daughter’ Honeypreet Insan to 3-day police custody. Click here to know moreMicrosoft says Windows 10 phone is deadMicrosoft has finally acknowledged it. In a series of tweets, Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Windows, confirmed that Windows 10 Mobile is indeed, dead. Click here to know more​. Click here to know more

Do you only check out what women wear? Anandiben Patel demands apology from Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a strongly worded statement, BJP leader and ex-Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel has attacked Rahul Gandhi for her jibe at RSS. Rahul Gandhi speaking to a gathering of students took a jibe at RSS for lack of women. Rahul Gandhi said, “Their organisation is the RSS. How many women are there in the RSS… Have you ever seen any woman in shakhas wearing shorts?” he said mocking the traditional dress of the organisation. Expectedly, this has elicited a strong response from BJP. Anandiben Patel said that Rahul Gandhi has demeaned and insulted women of Gujarat, who are in forefront of the society today. Anandiben Patel said that do you only check out what women wear and do they need permission from Gandhi scion before wearing clothes. She also asked whether such comments are part of Congress culture and if Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s sister (Priyanka ) find his statement acceptable. According to Anandiben Patel, no women would find Rahul’s comments in good taste and said that if Gandhi scion doesn’t apologise, Congress would face electoral backlash in the state. Former Gujarat CM said that women are like mother and should be given proper respect by all. Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi said in Vadodara, ” “The BJP’s thinking is that till women are silent they are good, when they start speaking up they try to shut them (women) up,””In the Congress you will see women at every level in the organisation,” he said. Later he pointed out that no women can be seen in RSS. Reacting to Rahul’s allegations, Anandiben said that he is misinformed. She said that there are separate sakhas for women and they are extemely active in those. Looks like this off the cuff comment from Rahul Gandhi may snowball into a major political storm before the next Gujarat election.

DNA EXCLUSIVE: With Modi as PM, our seats will increase in Gujarat, says Vijay Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has said that the BJP will fight the state Assembly elections later this year with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as its star.”Modiji will be crucial. As chief minister, he was popular among the people here. Now, when he is Prime Minister, our seats will increase. We will keep alive the faith that he has entrusted in the people and face the elections. Modiji will be the centre point,” he told DNA in an exclusive interview.The BJP has recently fought and won a string of elections, including the one in the politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, with Modi as its face. In Gujarat, Modi won three consecutive elections, but this will be the first in around 15 years when he is not at the helm in the state.Asked if he took any advice from Modi, Rupani, who took over as CM in August last year after Anandiben Patel stepped down, said, “Why not? We do. His has been a great leadership. He worked here for several years. He has experience. We take advice from Amit Bhai (BJP president Amit Shah) also. We take advice from both.””After I took over as chief minister, Modi has made eight to nine visits to Gujarat. When we meet, he gives his marg darshan (guidance),” said the CM.Affable and astute, Rupani described Modi as his mentor and said his government has taken inspiration from the PM on four principles — being transparent, decisive, progressive and sensitive.He dodged a question on whether he would be the face of the BJP in Gujarat, saying the elections will be under Modi’s leadership. “Whatever the party decides. We all work for the party,” he said.Unruffled by the Patel agitation, Dalit activists or the Opposition’s demand for a loan waiver for farmers, Rupani is confident that the BJP is going to fulfil its mission of winning 150 of the 182 seats in the state.Rupani was, however, non-committal on whether his government would go in for a farm loan waiver, on the lines of BJP governments in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.”We will do whatever is necessary to help farmers… We believe that if the farmer is happy, the village is happy, and if the village is happy, the towns and cities are happy. It’s our commitment that farmers should get the minimum support price.”Rupani, a Jain, is seen to have an advantage in a politically-charged atmosphere. “I don’t believe that the Patel (quota) agitation will impact us,” he said.A grassroots socio-political worker, he justifies his government’s decision to make cow slaughter punishable by life imprisonment. “Prohibition and ban on cow slaughter are sensitive issues amongst us Gujaratis. These are also necessary for development. Liquor destroys the new generation and I have tightened laws. Same way, cow slaughter impacts the rural economy,” he said.

Congress accuses Modi govt of not fulfilling promises

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Accusing the Modi government of not fulfilling its promises, opposition Congress today said the Centre had failed on all fronts including employment generation, smart cities, internal security and Lokpal. “Modi government had promised to give employment to two crore youths annually but actually it had been able to give jobs to only 1.35 lakh people in 2015 and in 2016 too it could give jobs to about as many people,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said at a press conference here on the occasion of the BJP-led NDA government completing three years in office. Raising the issue of farmers’ suicides, Singhvi said instead of finding a solution to their problems, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ministers were calling such farmers cowards. On corruption too, the Modi government has been making only hollow claims, he said adding that the non-constitution of a Lokpal only proves this. Despite coming to power with an absolute majority, the prime minister has been silent on Lokpal, Singhvi said. Making a mention of Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, he said around 50 people allegedly involved in the fraud were killed but the CBI was yet to submit a report on it. He also alleged that a company in which former Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel’s daughter had a stake was given 250 acres of land near Gir forest at a rate of Rs 15 per square metre. Charging the government with failure on the internal security front, he said the situation in Jammu & Kashmir was never as bad as it is today.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

With Modi in Delhi, BJP banks on Shah’s booth mantra in Gujarat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As it prepares to face assembly elections in Gujarat without Narendra Modi at the helm, the BJP is launching an aggressive booth-level outreach from this month end. As part of this strategy, a party worker will be assigned to each of the 48,000 booths in the state for nine days.The party workers, who will be from the state, will stay at the booth from May 28 to June 5, BJP sources said. BJP president Amit Shah, who was a minister in the Modi government in Gujarat, will himself be spending three days at the booth during this period.This will be the first elections in the state since 2001 when Modi is not the chief minister. After winning his third consecutive term in 2012, Modi had moved to the Capital in 2014 as Prime Minister.The workers have been asked to visit sections of key voters in the booth, conducting workshops, initiating a cleanliness drive and adding to the membership of the party.Earlier this month, Shah had held a series of meetings with Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who had taken over last month after Anandiben Patel stepped down. The BJP, which has retained power in the state since 1998, has targeted 150 of the 182 seats in the state. While Shah is also busy drafting a strategy for the party to make inroads into areas where the party has so far failed to capture political space, he is leaving no stone unturned in his home state to ensure that the BJP retains its winning spree.Recently, BJP General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav was given charge of the state, where elections are scheduled later this year.

Surat MLA Narottam Patel not to contest assembly polls

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Citing the BJP’s unwritten age norms, the party’s sitting MLA from Surat, Narottam Patel, today said he would not contest the upcoming assembly polls to make way for the younger people. 81-year-old Patel, who represents Udhana seat of Surat, made the announcement during the ongoing state executive meet at the temple town of Somnath in Gir-Somnath district. While talking to reporters after the meet, Patel, who won the assembly polls for five consecutive terms, said he would not contest the polls to be held later this year, despite being a strong candidate. “The party does not have any rule (about the age bar). It is just a recommendation, so that the younger generation gets a chance. Thus, I have conveyed to the party that I will not contest the upcoming Assembly polls,” said the former minister in Gujarat government. “I am offering to quit voluntarily. Even though I am a strong candidate, I will not contest the polls. However, this does not mean that I will harm my party during the polls,” Patel added. The unwritten convention in the party, set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, has been that those attaining the age of 75 have to quit the post. Earlier, last year, Anandiben Patel stepped down as the Gujarat chief minister citing the same convention.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress spreading rumours, elections to be held on schedule: Gujarat CM Rupani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rubbishing speculations about the possibility of early Assembly polls in Gujarat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said the elections would be held on schedule, during the later part of this year, and blamed the Congress for spreading such “rumours.” “I do not see any possibility of early Assembly polls. I believe that elections will be held on schedule. This is just a rumour spread by Congress to keep their workers busy.Otherwise, I don’t believe that polls will be held early,” Rupani told the reporters on the sidelines of a function. Ever since Rupani took over reins from Anandiben Patel in a sudden change of guard in August last year, Gujarat Congress leaders have been saying there is a possibility that Assembly polls may take place early. Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki had often asked the party cadres to gear up for the polls.”BJP will face severe defeat in UP and Punjab, where polls will be held in the mid of 2017. BJP may not want to cloud their prospects in Gujarat with those defeats. Thus, it is highly possible that polls in Gujarat would take place simultaneously with Punjab and UP,” Solanki had recently said. The BJP has been in power in the state for nearly two decades and, for long, the ministry was headed by Narendra Modi before he became Prime Minister in 2014.

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