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Gujarat: Low-profile Vijay Rupani back at the helm, earns praise from other BJP CMs

Vijay Rupani, a low-profile RSS man who has the trust of BJP President Amit Shah, is back in the chief minister’s chair after having survived the incumbency factor and a violent quota stir by the Patidars. Born in Rangoon (now Yangon, Myanmar) Rupani, 61, joined an RSS shakha as a schoolboy, before graduating to the BJP via the Sangh’s students wing–the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the BJP’s face in the high-octane election campaign in his home state, Rupani, belonging to the relatively small Jain community, steered the party machinery in Gujarat, neutralising the incumbency factor against his government and surviving quota stir by the Patidar community, the bedrock of the party’s support base. That he also successfully contained disenchantment with the government over farm distress in some parts of the state, and economic slowdown due to demonetization and roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), also stood him in good stead.Despite the BJP’s tally falling below 100 in a long time, Rupani’s selection also suggested that the top party leadership wanted continuity before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Though only a second-time MLA, he made a mark as an able administrator. Rupani, who worked mostly in the party organisation in Gujarat, fought his first Assembly election in 2014, winning a bypoll from Rajkot West. This time he won from the same seat with an impressive margin of over 53,000 votes. A bachelor of law, Rupani was a Rajya Sabha member between 2006 and 2012.Also readBJP shows off strength as Vijay Rupani takes oath as 16th CM of Gujarat: 10 points It was under him as chairman of the Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation in 2006 that the hugely successful advertisement campaign ‘Khushboo Gujarat Ki’, featuring megastar Amitabh Bachchan, was launched to promote the state as a tourism hotspot. He was also the chairman of the Gujarat Municipal Finance Board in 2013. When the Rajkot West seat fell vacant in October 2014 after Speaker of the Assembly Vajubhai Vala was appointed the Karnataka Governor, Rupani won the bypoll.On February 19, 2016 he was appointed the chief of the Gujarat BJP. It was seen as a victory for the Amit Shah camp in the state unit. When the state’s first and only woman chief minister Anandiben Patel resigned in August 2016 following allegations of inept handling of the Patidar and Dalit agitations, Rupani was catapulted to the hot seat. Rupani honed his political skills in the crucible of the Gujarat Navnirman agitation, a socio-political movement in 1974 by students and the middle-class against economic crisis and corruption in public life.It soon spread elsewhere, particularly in Bihar, where socialist legend Jayaprakash Narayan gave a call for ‘Total Revolution’. The movement finally led to the fall of Indira Gandhi government and installation of the first non-Congress dispensation at the centre under Morarji Desai. Rupani, who was then with the ABVP, was jailed for nearly a year during Emergency. As the mayor of Rajkot in 1996-97, he endeared himself to people of the city with his initiatives for improvement of the civic infrastructure.Rupani’s mettle as a politician will be tested again in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls when Modi bids for a second shot at power. Delivering Gujarat to the BJP is the least he would expect from Amit Shah’s man in Gandhinagar. Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled states today said the saffron party’s victory in Gujarat for the sixth consecutive time in recently-held polls was a remarkable achievement.Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Assam, and Bihar praised Vijay Rupani, who took oath for the second consecutive time as Gujarat CM at a function held in Gandhinagar.”It is a matter of great pleasure for all of us.Gujarat developed a lot during the tenure of Narendra Modi as chief minister. Some people were assuming that BJP will not come back after Modi left the state as prime minister. But it is a matter of immense pleasure that the BJP managed around 50 per cent vote,” said Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also congratulated Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who came to Gandhinagar but could not attend the swearing-in ceremony, said the recent electoral outcome shows that people have reposed their “faith and trust” in Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. “I express gratitude to voters and give best wishes to (Vijay) Rupani and Nitin Patel for bringing the BJP back to power for the sixth time. Congratulations to the BJP for Gujarat victory. Gujarat has given a different model of development, and it is a faith and trust towards Modi that BJP keeps winning and coming back to power (in Gujarat),” Chouhan told reporters after the event.His Chhatisgarh counterpart Raman Singh said the poll result was the result of hard work put in by Modi and Shah. “Gujarat has again voted for BJP government. We thank Modi and Amit Shah who worked hard to achieve this. It will be a history that the BJP will rule a state for 27 years,” Singh said. Manohar Lal Khattar, Sarbananda Sonowal, and Nitish Kumar–chief ministers of Haryana, Assam, and Bihar, respectively—also extended their best wishes to the new government.

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Congress votes jumped sharply in Saurashtra

If there was any region in Gujarat that voted in a totally different way in 2017 as compared to 2012 was Saurashtra-Kutch. While both the major parties added voters to their previous tally, it was 27.43% gain on the part of Congress to remove the deficit of 21 seats over rival BJP in 2012 to take a seven-seat lead in recent elections.The results also witnessed the resurgent party to narrow the vote lead of 4,30,749 votes in 2012 to 49,351 votes. The prime reason is the addition of 8,14,614 votes by Congress as compared to 3,14,165 votes by BJP in terms of previous elections.The net result was that Congress increased its tally from 16 to 30, while BJP dropped its tally from a massive 35 to 23. Saurashtra region has 48 seats, while Kutch has six seats in the 182-seat Legislative Assembly of Gujarat. Congress was able to regain 16 seats from BJP by conceding only four seats in the region. Seats that Congress wrested from BJP include predominantly rural seats of Dhrangadhra, Morbi, Tankara, Chotila, Wankaner, Jasdan, Kalavad, Jamjodhpur, Khambhaliya, Junagadh, Mangrol, Kodinar, Una, Dhari, Gadhada and Talaja. While the four seats have more urban aspect to it. These include Rajkot-East, Jamnagar-North, Palitana and Jetpur.Saurashtra-Kutch region is the least urbanised among all the regions and this has been one of key reason why BJP suffered a severe setback. With predominantly agrarian economy, the region suffered two erratic monsoons in past three years. What added to the natural calamity was administrative indifference in terms of timely intervention, whether it was ensuring drought and flood relief or remunerative prices for crops like cotton and groundnut. Last minute move to declare MSP for groundnut was too late and too less for the farmers.This region also witnessed the most high profile contest between Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Congress rival Indranil Rajguru from Rajkot-West Constituency. What was supposed to be a keen contest saw Rupani winning by a healthy margin of 53,755 votes.However, former ministers Dilip Sanghani and Bavku Undhad lost their respective battle. Former Finance Minister Saurabh Patel managed to win from Botad by a narrow margin. While Koli heavyweight Purushottam Solanki won, his younger brother Hira Solanki suffered a setback.In fact then Congress vice-president had kicked off his campaign from religious place of Dwarka and his soft Hindutva got reception from the masses. In Amreli, Morbi and Gir Somnath, Congress swept and the contest was absolutely one sided.Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had come to Saurashtra on multiple occasions to woo the voters. In Bhavnagar district, from where state BJP President Jitu Waghani had contested, Modi had addressed two rallies and just after Diwali, he had inaugurated the Dahej – Ghogha RO-RO service. BJP won in most the seats in the district.

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Vijay Rupani’s journey from student leader to CM for second time

Born on August 02, 1956, in Rangoon of Myanmar, in a Jain Bania family from Rajkot, Vijay Rupani is a leader who has played different roles through out his political career. He was the seventh and youngest boy among his siblings. His family moved back to Rajkot on 1960 after political instability in Myanmar.He studied BA and LLB from Saurashtra University. He began his political career as student activist and RSS Swayamsevak and became the chief minister of Gujarat on August 08, 2016. Meanwhile, entire story of making of the Gujarat CM for Vijay Rupani remained full of ups and downs, but a persistent by nature, Rupani remain non-challent in his life.Vijay Rupani began his political career as a student activist with Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, a student wing having ideology similar to BJP and RSS. He joined Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and then Jan Sangh in 1971. In 1976, he spent 11 months in jails in Bhuj and Bhavnagar during the emergency when he was booked under MISA Act.During 1978 to 1981, Rupani worked as Pracharak of RSS and traveled across Gujarat. He met Anjali, his wife, in Ahmedabad. Meanwhile, her family was working for RSS and both got married. He was elected as a corporator of Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) in 1987 and became the chairman of drainage committee. He served as the chairman of standing committee of RMC from 1988 to 1996. He was again elected to RMC in 1995 and remained mayor of Rajkot during 1996 to 1997.He became Gujarat BJP’s general secretary in 1998 and served as the chairman of manifesto committee during chief ministership of former CM Keshubhai Patel.He was appointed as a chairman of Gujarat Tourism in 2006. He was a member of Rajya Sabha from 2006 to 2012. He served as BJP’s Gujarat unit general secretary four times and also became the chairman of the Gujarat Municipal Finance Board in 2013.In August 2014, when the incumbent speaker of Gujarat assembly Vajubhai Vala resigned after being appointed as Karnataka Governor, Vijay Rupani was nominated by the BJP to contest his vacant seat. He won the bypoll on 19 October 2014 by a huge margin. He was inducted as minister in the first cabinet expansion by Chief Minister Anandiben Patel in November 2014 and held the ministry of transport, water supply, labor and employment.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Most rich candidates bite the dust

Billionaires didn’t find it going easy in Gujarat polls. A large number of them had to taste defeat and only two from BJP made it to the hustings.Dhanjibhai Patel from Wadhwan in Surendranagar district defeated his Congress rival Mohan Patel by a margin of over 21,000 votes. Dhanjibhai had assets worth Rs 115 crore.Former Industries Minister and BJP strongman Saurabh Patel won from Botad after a roller coaster ride. Patel, whose assets had doubled in last five years, has declared assets worth Rs 135 crore in in 2017 affidavit.Indranil Rajguru of Congress, with assets worth Rs 141 crore lost to Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani by a margin of 55,000 votes from Rajkot – West constituency. It was one of the most high profile contests in the state as it was matter of do-or-die for ruling BJP. Rajguru had represented Rajkot East earlier.Congress candidate from Daskroi in Ahmedabad, Pankaj Patel, who was the richest candidate with assets worth Rs 231 crore lost to BJP strongman Babu Jamna Patel, who had declared assets worth Rs 48 crore.Ashok Lal, a Congress candidate from Jamnagar – South lost to former BJP state President R C Faldu by a margin of 16,000 votes. Lal had declared assets worth Rs 109 crore.Congress candidate Raghu Desai from Chanasma in north Gujarat lost to outgoing Labour and Employment Minister Dilip Thakor of BJP. Desai had declared assets worth Rs 108 crore.Dharmendra Vaghela, and independent candidate who was challenging BJP strongman Madhu Srivastava from Vaghodia in Vadodara lost by a margin of 21,000 votes. Vaghela was supported by Congress and had declared assets worth Rs 97 crore in his affidavit.

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As trends paint clear picture of BJP’s victory in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, this is how party celebrates

The trends have started emerging and as they move in the favour of the Bhartiya Janata Party recorded, party workers had already started celebrating. BJP recorded its first official win Gujarat and festivity at party offices across the country have begun. Party workers in Madhya Pradesh are already distributing sweets as the trends show the BJP winning both in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.Fire crackers and sweets have made entry in the BJP headquarters in New Delhi too. Bucking the initial trends, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani won the Rajkot West Assembly seat in the Gujarat Election results on Monday.The early trends had shown Rupani trailing to Congress’ Indranil Rajguru.Ahead of the Gujarat verdict, Rupani sounded confident and had said that the BJP will form the government in the state again.”The results are going to be in BJP’s favour and the party will form Government in Gujarat; people of the state have chosen development” Rupani was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.On Sunday, his supporters also started a ‘Havan’ for his victory.Pitted against Rajguru, one of the wealthiest leader in the fray, Rupani bucked the anti- incumbency factor and the Patel agitation that could have tilted the balance.Gujarat has 26 parliamentary constituencies and 182 assembly constituencies.A total of 977 candidates were in the fray in the first phase of elections, out of which 57 were women candidates and over 2.22 crore people took part in the election to decide their fate. While in the second phase, 851 candidates fought, out of which 69 women candidates contested.

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Gujarat: Congress leader and his wife found dead in house, suicide suspected

On Monday morning, Gujarat Congress leader Haresh Moradia and his wife Ramleela Moradia were found dead inside their house in Rajkot. Primary investigation of police revealed that two had committed suicide by consuming poison. As per the police, the incident came to light at around 11 am after one of the neighbours of Moradia’s informed the police. During the investigation, it was revealed that in the morning, Moradia’s house water tank was overflowing. When the neighbours tried to inform the couple, they didn’t open the door. The neighbours who are also friends with Moradia sensed something suspicious and entered the house from the balcony and found the couple dead. Immediately the Bhaktinagar police of Rajkot were informed. As per V.K Gadhvi, Inspector of Bhaktinagar police station, “Primary investigation revealed that the couple had committed suicide by consuming poison. We have also recovered the poison bottle from near the bodies The reason behind the suicide is yet to found, we suspect there were some personal reasons. No suicide note has been recovered from the spot yet, still, we are searching for it”The daughter of Moradia’s who lives in Sadar village near Rajkot with her husband and in-laws later reached the spot. While talking to her, police came to know that on Sunday night Moradia had called his daughter’s in-laws and told them to take care of his daughter and disconnected the phone. Police have sent both the bodies for autopsy and further investigation is going on.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: 68% turnout in Phase 1, EC rejects Congress’ Bluetooth-EVM hack complaint

Over 68 per cent turnout was recorded today in the first phase of polling for 89 Assembly seats in Gujarat where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress’s soon-to-be chief Rahul Gandhi are locked in a bitter, high-stakes battle after a 22-year BJP reign.The final voting figure was set to go up as people stood in queues outside polling centres even after the closing time of 5 pm, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said in Delhi.Four persons were injured in clashes between two groups of the same community at Chorvila village of Sayla tehsil of Surendranagar district. The polls, however, largely passed off peacefully.Opposition leaders expressed apprehensions about electronic voting machine (EVM) tampering, a charge rejected by the EC. The BJP took pot-shots at the Congress saying that the party was looking for excuses.State Election Commission officials said there were reports of technical glitches in EVMs in Surat and some other places, but the polling resumed after the machines were replaced.Sixty eight per cent of the 2.1 crore voters exercised their franchise, Sinha said.Also readGujarat Elections: ‘No question of any challenge’, says CM Vijay Rupani who’s contesting against richest candidate The prime minister thanked the people of Gujarat for turning out in record numbers.”Thank you Gujarat! Gratitude to my sisters and brothers of Gujarat for voting in record numbers today. I am seeing that BJP is headed towards a historic victory, powered by the affection and support of every Gujarati,” he tweeted.Responding to a series of questions on reports of EVM tampering, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Jain said a complaint filed by a Congress candidate in Porbandar regarding his cell phone connecting to an EVM through ‘bluetooth’ was found to be incorrect.Also readHeard EVMs are picking up gravitational waves: Twitter in splits after Congress leader thought Bluetooth could hack EVMsThe complaint was lodged by senior Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia. In a tweet, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel had also asked the EC to look into the reports of EVM malfunctioning.Jain said experts found that the cell phone actually connected to the bluetooth of a polling agent’s mobile.The EVM has “no receptors” and cannot be connected to any other device except the control unit and the paper trail machine, he said, adding it has no bluetooth or USB (pen drive in common parlance) port.Officials said 977 candidates were in the fray from the 89 seats of Saurashtra and south Gujarat, of which 63 were won by the BJP and 22 by the Congress in the 2012 Assembly polls.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: EC disposes Congress leader’s ‘Bluetooth EVM’ hacking complaint after investigationIn the 2012 elections, the voting percentage was 70.07 while it was 60 per cent in 2007 polls in the corresponding constituencies of the 182-member Assembly.Several key leaders, including Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, his opponent from Rajkot (West) Indranil Rajyaguru, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani were among the early voters.Cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara also cast his vote in Rajkot.Prominent candidates in today’s battle included Rupani and Congress’s Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi) and Paresh Dhanani (Amreli).As the polling process began at 8 am, people stepped out of their houses braving the winter chill and queued up to cast votes.With the marriage season on, brides and grooms, clad in wedding finery, came to polling booths along with their relatives to exercise their franchise. Many such voters were seen in Bharuch, Bhavnagar, Gondal and Surat.A 115-year-old woman from Upleta town of Rajkot, Aajiben Chandravadia, also voted, reports said.As per the turnout data of 8am to 5pm, both Navsari of south Gujarat and Morbi district of Saurashtra recorded the highest turnout of 75 per cent. Porbandar and Botad districts in Saurashtra recorded the lowest turnout of 60 per cent.In Visavadar town of Junagadh district, BJP candidate Kirit Patel allegedly entered into a heated argument with the election officer. “That was a minor incident. Patel was unhappy over some issue related to the timing of the polling,” said an official.In Surat, a person called Ashwin Patel, who claims to be running a parallel Patidar quota agitation, alleged that some persons attacked his car.The election in Modi’s home state is crucial for the BJP and Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and is seen as a prestige battle for the prime minister, who was the chief minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, and a litmus test for the opposition party’s heir-apparent Rahul Gandhi.Emotive issues of religion and caste competed with that of development and the attacks by the two parties often turned personal as leaders indulged in name-calling.The Congress, in political wilderness in Gujarat for nearly 22 years, is desperate to break the jinx. It has raised questions on BJP’s Gujarat “development model”, demonetisation and GST.The BJP is banking on its performance and Modi’s popularity to counter any anti-incumbency or the impact of the Patidar quota stir. Modi has attacked the Congress over the issue of dynastic politics and corruption and invoked “Gujarati pride’ in his campaign speeches.While Modi addressed about 15 rallies for the first of the two-stage polls, Gandhi spent over seven days in Saurashtra and south Gujarat emerging as the Congress pivot to take on the prime minister on his home turf.EC officials said a total of 26,865 ballot units (on which votes are cast), 24,689 control units which are kept with the presiding officer and an equal number of paper trail machines were deployed.Out of these, 181 ballot units (0.6 per cent of the total), 223 control units (0.55 per cent of the total) and 714 paper trail machines (1.75 per cent of the total) were replaced during polling, they said.Over 6,000 ballot papers were electronically transferred to service voters, a major achievement considering that the practice of e-ballots was new, Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena said in Delhi.The second phase of polling in 93 seats will be held on December 14 while the counting of votes is scheduled on December 18.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: When a bride-to-be left her ‘haldi’ ceremony to cast her vote

The beauty of the Indian democratic process of voting was on full display on Saturday, when among the 1.4 crore voters who exercised their franchise in Gujarat was a 126-year-old woman, a mother who had just delivered a baby and a few brides in their wedding finery. Several members of a ‘baarat’ (wedding party), including the couple, came out to vote at Bhavnagar. The bridegroom and the bride said they wanted to first cast their votes before heading to the marriage venue.”I am here to vote for development. We decided to first cast our votes before going for wedding,” said the groom Bhavesh Rana.In Rajkot’s Dharala village, Mamta Gondalia turned up to vote in her bridal finery. In Bharuch, a soon-to-be-married couple, decked in wedding attire, turned up at a polling booth in Bharuch to cast vote. But Fenny Parekh’s enthusiasm was above everyone else’s. She came straight from her ‘haldi’ ceremony to the polling booth in Surat’s Katargam to cast a vote for her favourite candidate. The first phase of the Gujarat Assembly election saw 68% of voting. A total of 977 candidates are in fray for the first phase polls.Prominent candidates for Saturday’s battle include Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who is contesting from Rajkot (West), and Congress’ Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi) and Paresh Dhanani (Amreli).(With PTI inputs)

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Gujarat Elections: ‘No question of any challenge’, says CM Vijay Rupani who’s contesting against richest candidate

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday dismissed any questions of challenge and urged people to come out and vote in large numbers in the first phase of the state elections.Voting for the first phase of the crucial Gujarat assembly polls is underway on 89 seats of Saurashtra and South Gujarat regions.”People should come out in large numbers to vote. We are very confident, no question of any challenge,” Vijay Rupani told the media.Gujarat Assembly Constituency number 69 — Rajkot West — has been a prestige seat for the BJP. Rupani is contesting as BJP candidate against Congress candidate Indranil Rajguru, who is also richest in this pollsIndranil had won the last polls in 2012 from neighbouring constituency Rajkot East but has shifted to this seat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Congress asks for mobile jammers outside rooms guarding EVMs to prevent riggingThe seat has maximum upper caste voters – more than 50% of total votes. Other caste combination is 25,000 Brahmins and Lohana each, 20,000 Baniyas and around 10,000 Kshatriya Rajput voters.There are 22,000 votes of a minority community and around 15,000 Schedule Caste (SC) community voters are there.Also readNaMo and the ‘unch-neech’ of the Gujarat campaign trailA total of 977 candidates are in fray for the first phase polls.The election is viewed as a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of soon-to-be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.Also readGujarat elections 2017: Hardik Patel’s ‘shadow’ moves far from PAAS over Congress tiltThe campaign shaped up as a duel between Modi and Gandhi, and often turned personal.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Padmavati ban for women’s honour: Vijay Rupani

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Saturday said Padmavati movie was banned to keep the honour of women intact.Addressing BJP women workers’ convention in Rajkot on Saturday, he said, “The film release was stopped in the state as the character of Padmavati, who represents Indian culture and the pride of women in India was presented in a bad shape in the film. It also does not present the character of the queen in a proper manner. In Gujarat, we respect women.”He added, “The filmmaker tweaked the history by playing with the sentiments of people which cannot be tolerated. We cannot let some people play with the pride of Indian women, as they are always respected in Indian culture.”
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Gujarat Election 2017: In Rupani vs Rajguru battle, a son and daughter sweat it out

In Rajkot West, where biggies Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Congress’s billionaire candidate Indranil Rajguru are contesting each other, the campaign scene is not all dominated by party workers. The two have their own children doing the legwork for the dads.Rupani’s son Rushabh and Rajguru’s daughter Darshnil are far frequent visitors to their constituency than their fathers.Rushabh who is pursuing engineering from Nirma University in Ahmedabad has shifted base to Rajkot these days.Starting from social media campaigns, to door-to-door visits to meet voters, to mobilisation of young party workers and drawing other poll strategies, they are all overseen by Rushabh.Rushabh, who never took interest in politics earlier — Rupani never contested Assembly polls and contested only the Assembly bypolls in 2014, and that was a sure victory for him.A BJP leader from Rajkot said, “Rushabh is managing every small detail related to polls as Vijaybhai is away. We and our organisation are working on our own strategy, but Rushabh has a different perspective. He and his cousin, Amey, have been taking care of the social media campaign and other canvassing. He also makes slogans that are appealing to the public.” When asked about his campaign work, Rushabh shies away.Like Rushabh, Darshneel, too, was never involved in any poll before this.Talking to DNA, she said, “I am doing this with special interest. I am managing different events of poll campaign, social media campaign and road shows. I am pursuing my graduation course from Indira Gandhi National Open University, but have made time to help my father with his campaign.”Indranil has several Congress youth workers in his team. Darshneel is a motivation for them.Harshit Jani, a party member, says, “Darshneel is managing everything here. From top to bottom and left to right, she is present everywhere. We are also charged by seeing her enthusiasm, and we have her guidance.”
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Gujarat elections 2017: AAP releases 3rd candidate list for 13 seats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday released its third list of candidates for 13 seats for the upcoming Gujarat elections, a week after declaring names of candidates for 20 seats in two different lists.As per the third list, the AAP has decided to contest from Dasada, Jasdan, Ankleshwar, Khambhaliya, Rajkot (South), Dhangadhra, Wankaner, Bhavnagar (West), Udhna, Olpad, Valsad, Dhoraji and Limbayat.The candidates finalised to contest from these seats are Parshottam Chhaniyara (Dasada), Bharatbhai Mankolia (Jasdan), KP Sharma (Ankleshwar), Ketan Parmar (Khambhaliya), Girish Maravia (Rajkot South), Kamleshbhai Dadhaniya (Dhangadhra), Usmangani Sherasia (Wankaner), Pratapbhai Patel (Bhavnagar West), Sureshkumar Patel (Udhna), Mansukhbhai Savalia (Olpad), Jatin Patel (Valsad), Hardik Vacchani (Dhoraji) and Rasa Raju (Limbayat).The candidates who were finalised to contest from other seats declared in phase-2 are Gunvant Patel (Gandhinagar-North), Jilubhai Bavaliya (Botad), Nagajibhai Ambaliya (Katargam), Ajit Lokhil (Rajkot- East), Salim Multani (Surat-East), Jignesh Mehta (Karanj), Ramesh Nabhani (Palanpur), Govind Danicha (Gandhidham) and Paresh Bhanderi (Jamnagar-Rural).The 11 seats that the AAP had earlier announced to contest are Bapunagar, Unjha, Rajkot (West), Danilimda, Lathi, Chhota Udepur, Padra, Karjan, Pardi, Gondal and Kamrej.Interestingly, the AAP had replaced its candidate, declared in the first list, for the Bapunagar constituency after receiving complaints against him. Anil Verma, who was the party’s candidate from Bapunagar, has been replaced by Amjad Pathan. As per the list, the candidates come from varied backgrounds including businessmen, educators, social workers, a former corporator, lawyer and an academician.REPLACES ONEInterestingly, the AAP had replaced its candidate, declared in the first list, for the Bapunagar constituency after receiving complaints against him

Gujarat Elections 2017: Congress releases first list of candidates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After much delay, Congress finally on Sunday night released its first list of 77 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat elections. Among senior leaders, Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhwadia have been given tickets. The election is to be held in two phases on December 9 and 14, and it’s result will be announced on December 18The first list was announced hours after a fruitful meeting between Congress and PAAS leaders. The leaders said that they have reached an agreement over the issue of granting reservation to Patels, if the Congress is voted to power in the state Assembly election.The official announcement about the nitty-gritty of the reservation formula and the PAAS’ stand on supporting the Congress during the Gujarat polls will be announced by Hardik Patel at a public gathering in Rajkot on Monday PAAS convener Dinesh Bambhania said after the crucial meeting on the issue. Hardik Patel was not present in the meeting.”Earlier, we had asked the Congress to clarify how they would grant Patidars a constitutionally valid reservation. Today, we held a crucial meeting on that issue and finally reached a consensus on various options offered by the party to us. Official announcement of this agreement will be made by Hardik tomorrow in Rajkot,” said Bambhania, a key aide of Hardik Patel.Here’s the full list: ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS – 2017 G U J A R A T The CEC of Congress has selected the following candidates for the forthcoming first phase of elections to the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat Sl. No. No & Name of Constituency Selected Candidates 1 2 Mandvi Shaktisinh Gohil 2 4 Anjar V.K. Humbal 3 5 Gandhidham – SC Kishorbhai G. Pingol 4 60 Dasada – SC Naushadji B Solanki 5 61 Limbdi Somabhai G. Patel 6 62 Wadhwan Mohanbhai D. Patel 7 63 Chotila Rutvikkumar L Makwana 8 64 Dhrangadhra Purushottambhai Sabariya 9 65 Morbi Brijesh A. Merja 10 66 Tankara Lalit K. Kagathara 11 67 Wankaner Mohammad Javed Pirzada 12 69 Rajkot West Indranil Rajyaguru 13 71 Rajkot Rural – SC Vashram A. Sangathia 14 72 Jasdan Kunvarji M. Bavaliya 15 73 Gondal Arjun Khataria 16 74 Jetpur Ravi Ambaliya 17 75 Dhoraji Lalit Vasoya 18 76 Kalavad – SC Pravinbhai N. Muchhadiya 19 77 Jamnagar Rural Vallabh Dharadiya 20 80 Jamjodhpur Chiragbhai R. Kalariya 21 83 Porbandar Arjunbhai Modhvadiya 22 84 Kutiyana Vejabhai L Modedara 23 85 Manavadar Jawahar Chavda 24 86 Junagadh Amit Thummar 25 87 Visavadar Harshadbhai Ribadiya 26 88 Keshod Jayeshkumar V. Ladani 27 89 Mangrol Babubhai K. Vaja 28 90 Somnath Vimalbhai K. Chudasma 29 91 Talala Bhagwanbhai D. Barad 30 92 Kodinar – SC Mohanbhai M. Vala 31 93 Una Punjabhai Vansh 32 94 Dhari J.V. Kakadiya 33 95 Amreli Pareshbhai Dhanani 34 96 Lathi Virjibhai Thummar 35 97 Savarkundla Pratap Dhuddhat 36 98 Rajula Amrish J. Der 37 99 Mahuva Vijaybhai Baraiya 38 100 Talaja Kanubhai M. Baraiya 39 101 Gariadhar P.M. Kheni 40 102 Palitana Pravinbhai J. Rathod 41 103 Bhavnagar Rural Kantibhai Chauhan 42 104 Bhavnagar East Ms. Nitaben B. Rathod 43 105 Bhavnagar West Dilipsinh A. Gohil 44 106 Gadhada – SC Praveen Maru 45 107 Botad Manhar Patel 46 148 Nandod – ST Premsinh D. Vasava 47 150 Jambusar Sanjaybhai J. Solanki 48 151 Vagra Suleman Patel 49 153 Bharuch Kiran Thakor 50 154 Ankleshwar Anil Bhagat 51 155 Olpad Yogendrasinh C. Bakrola 52 157 Mandvi – ST Anandbhai Chaudhari 53 158 Kamrej Nilesh Kumbani 54 159 Surat East Nitin Bharucha 55 160 Surat North Dinesh M. Kacchadiya 56 161 Varachha Road Prafulbhai C. Togadiya 57 162 Karanj Bhavesh G. Bhumbhliya 58 163 Limbayat Ravindra Patil 59 164 Udhna Satish Patel 60 165 Majura Ashokbhai M. Kothari 61 166 Katargam Jignesh Mewasa 62 167 Surat West Iqbalbhai D. Patel 63 168 Choryasi Yogeshbhai B. Patel 64 169 Bardoli – SC Tarunkumar J. Vaghela 65 170 Mahuva – ST Dr. Tusharbhai Chaudhary 66 171 Vyara – ST Punabhai D. Gamit 67 172 Nizar – ST Sunil Gamit 68 173 Dangs – ST Mangalbhai G. Gavit 69 174 Jalalpore Parimal N. Patel 70 175 Navsari Smt. Bhavnaben Patel 71 176 Gandevi – ST Sureshbhai Halpati 72 177 Bansda – ST Anantkumar H. Patel 73 178 Dharampur – ST Ishwarbhai D. Patel 74 179 Valsad Narendra J. Tandel 75 180 Pardi Bharatbhai M. Patel 76 181 Kaprada – ST Jitubhai H. Chaudhary 77 182 Umbargaon – ST Ashokbhai M. Patel ( Oscar Fernandes ) Incharge CEC 19th November, 2017 With PTI inputs

Gujarat elections: BJP’s first list of candidates shows trust in old war horses, several sitting MLAs get ticket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Bharatiya Janata Party put paid to at least some speculation as it came out with its first list of 70 candidates for the Gujarat assembly elections. The list shows both cautions as well as trust in old war horses of the party.Prima facie the list reflects party strategy to come out with its most trusted candidates or such that it feels would be in the safe zone in the polls. As just about half the seats have been taken care of, it also goes on to show that the party is still in the cautious and not a celebratory mood, taking its time to deliberate and read more signs from the ground and taking a last minute feedbacks.A cursory perusal shows that the party has more or less repeated its candidates, at least, on most if the symbolically significant seats.Chief minister Vijaybhai Rupani has been given ticket from the Rajkot West seat. While a couple of other seats in Rajkot have also been declared.Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Bhai Patel has once again given a chance from the hot seat of Mehsana which was one of the most disturbed during the Patidar agitation.Sitting MLA Jayeshbhai Radadiya too has got a ticket from Patidar dominated area of Jetpur. Radadiya is a fairly popular figure in the constituency.Sitting MLAs – Pabubha Virmbha Manek and Jashabhai Banabhai Bar have got tickets from the holy towns of Dwarka and Somnath respectively.In the controversial town of Godhra, the party has poised faith in a sitting BJP MLA and five-time legislator, KC Raulji.From Valsad sitting MLA Bharat Bhai Patel has once again got a chance.The expectant candidates of the party have been on the tenterhooks as sources said the party had decided to axe several sitting and non-performing MLAs, as well as a few sitting ministers. The Patidar question is one of the biggest for the party as there are 45 seats out of 182 that have Patidar majority. Patidars comprise nearly 17% of the population and BJP presently has 44 out of 45 Patidar-dominated seats.

In Rajkot, PM Narendra Modi lays foundation stone of Greenfield Airport, says this is development

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in poll-bound Gujarat for two days, today laid foundation stone of the greenfield airport in Rajkot.Addressing a rally after the event, the Prime Minister talked about changing definition of development.“The definition of development is changing. Earlier, a hand pump would be put and a leader would use that for multiple elections. Things have changed now. We are bringing waters of the Narmada here, for the benefit of citizens,” PM Modi said.Talking about the Rajkot airport, he said, “Who could have imagined that there would be an airport in this district? Is this not development? Is this kind of development not needed…such development works will empower citizens.”“Aviation cannot be about rich people. We have made aviation affordable and within reach of the lesser privileged,” he said.Referring to the Sardar Sarovar Dam, which he inaugurated on his 67th birthday, PM Modi said, “If there is one district that stands to gain maximum from waters of the Narmada it is Surendranagar.”“Water has always been important for Gujarat. Now that water is widely being made available, let us use it responsibly and conserve every drop of water,” the Prime Minister added.

Modi in Gujarat: Here’s the PM’s schedule on his two-day visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday arrived in Dwarka, Gujarat, to offer prayers and attend a special prayer at the Dwarikadheesh Temple.Modi is on a two-day visit to the state.At Dwarka, he will lay the foundation stone for a four-lane cable-stayed signature bridge between Okha and Bet Dwarka to be built at a cost of Rs. 962 crore.Other projects for which foundation stone will be laid include four-laning of 116.24 kilometers of Porbandar-Dwarka section of NH-51 and four-laning of 93.56 km of Gadu-Porbandar section of NH-51.The Prime Minister will also address a public meeting in Dwarka.From Dwarka, the Prime Minister will go to Hirasar in Rajkot district where he will lay the foundation stone for a Greenfield airport.Prime Minster Modi will also lay the foundation stone in Chotila for six-laning of 201-kilometer Ahmedabad-Rajkot section of NH-47 at a cost of Rs. 2,893 crore.He will also dedicate a fully automatic milk processing and packaging plant and a drinking water distribution pipeline for Joravarnagar and Ratanpur area of Surendranagar. The Prime Minister will address a public meeting there as well.The Prime Minister will then proceed to Gandhinagar, where, he will dedicate the newly-constructed building of IIT Gandhinagar to the nation and launch the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA). The Abhiyan is aimed at imparting digital literacy to citizens in rural areas, and provide access to information, knowledge, education and healthcare.On Sunday, Prime Minister Modi will visit his birthplace Vadnagar in Mehsana district. He will inaugurate a medical college and a hospital having a total bed capacity of 650.Prime Minister will also launch the Intensified Mission Indradhanush to accelerate progress towards the goal of full immunization coverage. The mission will provide greater focus on urban areas and other pockets of low immunization coverage.The Prime Minister will also distribute e-tablets to health workers to mark the launch of ImTeCHO (Innovative mobile-phone Technology for Community Health Operations).ImTeCHO is aimed at improving the performance of community health workers ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) through better supervision, support and motivation for increasing coverage of proven maternal, newborn and child health interventions among resource-poor settings in India.The same afternoon, the prime minister will reach Bharuch and lay the foundation stone for Bhadbhut Barrage, to be built over the Narmada River.He will also flag off the Antyodaya Express between Udhna (Surat, Gujarat), and Jaynagar (Bihar). Mr Modi will also unveil plaques to mark the laying of foundation stone, and the inauguration of various plants of Gujarat Narmada Fertilizer Corporation. He will also address a public meeting there before returning to Delhi.

Rahul Gandhi visits four temples in Gujarat; Congress says it is to counter Hindutva of BJP-RSS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Apparently seeking to showcase the Congress’ soft Hindutva, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday offered prayers at four temples in Gujarat before wrapping up his three-day visit to the poll-bound state, a move his party said was aimed at countering the hardline Hindutva of the BJP and RSS.However, the ruling BJP took a dig at Gandhi, saying the Congress vice president was visiting temples as his party has failed to win elections in the state for long time.In New Delhi, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram deprecated attempts at reading any political meaning into Gandhi’s visit to temples.Gandhi, who had kicked off his tour after offering prayers at the Dwarkadhish temple on Monday, resumed his road-show this morning by trekking up the famous Chotila temple in Surendranagar district.Starting his tour from Rajkot this morning, Gandhi came to Chotila, the first stop today, and began the steep climb immediately. He climbed around 1,000 steps in about 15 minutes without a break.After he had offered prayers, the priests apprised him of the importance of the shrine.The Congress leader climbed down the stairway in another 15 minutes, greeting devotees on his way back.In the evening, Gandhi visited Khodal Dham temple in Kagvad village to offer prayers to Khodiyar Mata, the reigning deity of the Leuva Patel community. A section of Patels are up in arms against the state’s BJP government over their demand for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.On his arrival, Gandhi was greeted by a large number of Patidars, who chanted their signature slogan – ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar’ to welcome the Congress leader.On his way to Jetpur from Kagvad, Gandhi also paid a visit to a temple dedicated to Dasi Jeevan, revered by Dalits and Buddhists.He also made an unscheduled visit to another shrine– Jalaram temple–in Veerpur in Rajkot district.”I don’t think you should read political meaning into that. I think there is much else that is happening in his visit to Gujarat. I think we should focus on that,” Chidambaram said in the national capital.”We have always held that each one is entitled to practice his own faith, we treat all faiths equal. That is the position of the Congress party. From the days of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, that is the stance of the Congress party,” he said, while dismissing suggestions that the temple visits were an attempt to woo Hindu voters.Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s visit to temples, Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said the party was deliberately projected as anti-Hindu by the BJP and the RSS.”Rahul Gandhi’s visit to various temples during his tour is aimed at countering the hardline Hindutva campaign of BJP and RSS,” Doshi said.”The RSS and BJP have deliberately tried to portray the Congress as anti-Hindu, which is not true,” he said.AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Our idea of secularism is different from them (BJP), as we visit religious places of all the faiths. This is nothing new. Our former PM Indira Gandhi used to do the same.”However, a state BJP leader said Gandhi was visiting temples as his party was not winning elections.”Rahul Gandhi has started visiting temples and shrines as his party is not winning elections in any state,” state BJP spokesperson Raju Dhruv said.Yesterday, Gandhi also attended a garba event organised by MLA Indranil Rajyaguru in Rajkot and performed ‘aarti’ in front of the idol of goddess Durga.”The day ends well with garba in Rajkot,” the Congress vice president had tweeted.On his way from Chotila to Kagvad, Gandhi addressed people at some places. In his speeches, he promised that the Congress would waive all farm loans within 10 days of assuming power after the elections, which are due later this year.In the last two days, Gandhi repeatedly attacked the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on GST, note ban and farm polices.He had also invoked Sardar Patel’s legacy to woo the Patel community ahead of the crucial state polls.Gandhi had also expressed confidence about his party winning the Assembly elections, claiming that there was a strong undercurrent in favour of the Congress in Gujarat.

On Day 2, Rahul Gandhi invokes Sardar, continues to attack Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eyeing support of the highly influential Patidar (Patel) community in the upcoming elections, Congress vice- president Rahul Gandhi invoked Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the second day of his three-day Gujarat Yatra, even as he continued his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Congress leader was greeted at several places as his yatra passed through Patidar dominated villages of Jamnagar and Rajkot on Tuesday.In his interactions with villagers, Gandhi accused the state government of perpetrating atrocities on Patel community members during the reservation stir.In a bid to connect with the community, Gandhi even wore a ‘Patidar Cap’ with slogan ‘Jai Sardar-Jai Patidar’ emblazoned on it, on his arrival at Dhrol town.”You gave Sardar Patel to the country, but the BJP government committed atrocities on you. Bullets were also fired at you,” he said.At Falla village of Jamnagar, Gandhi was greeted with the slogan ‘Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar’, which has become a war cry for the agitating Patels.Incidentally, even as Gandhi was wooing Patels, a few hundred kms away, top ministers were holding talks with the agitation leaders and Patel community leaders in a bid to break the impasse over the issue of reservation for the community, in state capital Gandhinagar.Gandhi, who began his Gujarat visit by offering prayers at the famous Dwarkadheesh temple on Monday, is also slated to visit Khodaldham temple, the seat of Maa Khodiyar worshipped by the highly influential Leuva Patidar community, which is seen as another sign that the Congress is aggressively reaching out to Patels.Speaking to villagers along the route, Gandhi alleged that the state government is being run through a remote control from Delhi.”The time has come that the Gujarat government runs from Gujarat and works for well-being of people,” he said, reaching out to villagers ahead of the upcoming elections.The Congress leader, who is set to take over as the party president, continued his attack on Modi over his government’s policies.”You are busy with jumlas (gimmicks) and making tall promises. That is your style of doing things. As PM, it is your job to give employment and solve the country’s problems. If you cannot, the Congress will do so after coming to power,” Gandhi, who had criticised Modi over demonetisation and GST a day earlier, said.Rahul also raised the social media campaign Vikas Gando Thayo Chhe (Development has gone crazy), which has gone viral in Gujarat in the past few days, to take potshots at the famed Gujarat model of development. It seems that vikas (development) has gone made because some people lied too much about it, he said.Gandhi’s yatra will cover Rajkot and Surendranagar on the third and final day on Wednesday. He is also expected to undertake similar yatras in north, central and south Gujarat regions before the elections, which are likely to be held in December.(with agencies)

Rahul Gandhi to kick-start three-day tour of Gujarat on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will kick-start a three-day campaign in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region tomorrow after offering prayers at a Krishna temple in Dwarka, a senior party leader said.Gandhi will visit the Lord Krishna temple after he lands at the Mithapur airstrip in the Devbhumi Dwarka district on Monday morning, senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said.After offering prayers at the temple, Gandhi will hit the road for a tour of the Saurashtra region as part of the party’s election campaign in Gujarat, he said.”Rahul Gandhi will start his three-day road show from Dwarka in Saurashtra. He will address the public at different points and will interact with them along the way,” Gohil said.After a road show in Dwarka town, Gandhi will make brief halts where he will interact with farmers and traders before addressing a rally in the afternoon.The party vice president will then proceed for Jamnagar town where he will make a night halt. On September 26, he will cover towns such as Dhrol and Tankara by road before reaching Rajkot, Gohil said.He will interact with traders and industrialists after reaching Rajkot in the afternoon.”He will make a night stay in Rajkot. The next morning he will cover Chotila, Jasdan, Virpur, Jetpur and other towns before concluding the campaign at Khodaldham,” Gohil said.After covering Saurashtra, Gandhi will campaign in north, central and south Gujarat at later dates as part of the party’s poll campaign ahead of the assembly elections slated to be held later this year, party sources said.

Swine flu: 201 new cases, 10 more deaths

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swine flu continues to take a heavy toll in Gujarat. The state reported 10 more deaths and 201 new cases of swine flu on Friday, even as the state government claimed that the number of cases has declined.With this, the total number of swine flu cases in the state has crossed 4,000 this year.”With 4,062 confirmed swine flu cases since January 1, Gujarat has reported the second highest number of cases after Maharashtra, where the number is around 4,500,” said an official. Ten more swine flu patients lost their lives in the last 24 hours, taking the toll of the year to 316. The state government said in a press release that the number of new cases has declined, while number of patients recuperating has been on the rise.”As against 201 new cases, 315 patients have recovered and gone home. Even on Thursday, 307 patients were discharged as against 221 new cases. A total of 1,275 patients have been discharged in the past week,” the press release stated.However, the press release did not mention the number of patients still in the hospital. Sources said that the number of swine flu patients undergoing treatment, as of Friday, was 1,379. State CM Vijay Rupani had visited a special swine flu ward at Rajkot Civil Hospital last week to take stock of the situation.

Swine flu toll nears 300; 9 more deaths reported

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With nine more people succumbing to swine flu in the last 24 hours, the death toll in the state is nearing 300, official sources said.The state government said three deaths were reported from Ahmedabad, and one each from Surat, Kutch, Bharuch, Gir-Somnath, Amreli and Junagadh.With these, the number of lives claimed by swine flu in the state in the current year has shot up to 297, the second highest after Maharasthra, which has reported about 420 deaths so far. More than half of the deaths in Gujarat have taken place in August alone, according to officials.According to officials, 207 new cases of swine flu were reported in the state in the last 24 hours. Incidentally, almost half of these, that is 102 cases were reported from Ahmedabad, which has been the worst-hit by the outbreak.Officials said that Vadodara city reported 23 new cases, followed by Banaskantha (7), Ahmedabad district (6) and Bharuch (6). Sabarkantha and Jamnagar reported five cases each, while Surat and Rajkot cities, Gandhinagar and Kutch reported four cases.Swine flu cases were also reported in Rajkot, Vadodara, Mehsana, Kheda, Dahod, Anand, Patan, Panchmahals, Aravalli, Porbandar, Mahisagar, Bhavnagar and Amreli districts.Officials said that 208 patients were discharged on Wednesday. A total of 1,672 swine flu patients are undergoing treatment, of whom 22 are on ventilator, they added.’Some districts don’t have H1N1 testing labs’The state government said in the High Court on Wednesday that there are no laboratories for swine flu testing in 26 out of 33 districts in the state. The government said that there are three laboratories in Ahmedabad, and one each in Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Kutch. Moreover, there are private laboratories in Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara.Civic body issues notice to hospitalsThe health department of AMC is tracking hospitals that are not following medical protocol for H1N1 patients. On Wednesday, two more hospitals were served notices. “A high-risk patient was admitted to the general ward of a hospital despite having an isolated ward facility. A two month-old positive patient was not shifted to the isolated ward at Synergy Hospital in Vasna. We have served them a notice seeking an explanation,” said Dr Bhavin Solanki, medical officer in-charge of health at AMC.State ropes in teachers and students for swine flu awareness programmesThe state government has decided to rope in students and teachers to spread awareness about the swine flu epidemic. The education minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama addressed government school children and teachers on Wednesday via a video conference and appealed them to join awareness campaigns against swine flu in their villages, towns or areas.

CM meets H1N1 affected in 4 cities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With 68% cases of swine flu in the state being reported from Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and Ahmedabad, chief minister Vijay Rupani on Thursday visited swine flu wards at Civil Hospitals in these four cities and asked the doctors to follow ‘Any flu- Give tamiflu’ option.Seeking suggestions to improve swine flu treatment from the medical staff during his marathon visits to these hospitals, Rupani said, “Tamiflu is the medicine which can be given in any kind of flu besides swine flu. I would ask all doctors, private practitioners or those serving in government hospitals to prescribe it. If patients get timely treatment, they can be cured.”Rupani also met local medical officers and district authorities to take stock of the situation. He also directed civic authorities to start cleanliness and sanitation drives, particularly in densely populated areas. He sought cooperation from people in keeping their premises clean to avoid spread of swine flu. He also stressed on awareness campaign for swine flu in different parts of the state.

Swine flu claims 10 more lives in state

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten people died of swine flu and 117 new cases have been registered across the state on Thursday. Out of these, Ahmedabad registered three deaths and 74 new cases.With this the number of swine flu cases this year in state has gone up to 2,272 out of which, 857 patients cured and 1225 patients are under treatment. Total 230 death cases have been reported till August 17 in the state.On Thursday, 24 cases were registered in Vadodara city, 13 in Surat city, 11 in Gandhinagar city, 6 in Bhavnagar city, 5 in Gandhinagar district, four cases each in Vadodara district, Jamnagar city and Bhavnagar district followed by Amreli, Patan and Banaskantha districts each with three cases.Authorities in Rajkot city, Junagadh city and Kutch, Junagadh, Ahmedabad and Valsad districts each confirmed two cases of swine flu on Thursday while Rajkot, Anand, Mehsana, Jamnagar, Sabarkantha, Surendranagar, Surat, Botad, Dahod, Panchmahal, Chhota Udepur district authorities also registered 1 case each.

Gujarat HC finds BJP MLA guilty in murder case, awards life sentence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court has awarded life imprisonment to BJP MLA from Gondal Jayrajsinh Jadeja and two others, in the Nilesh Rayani’s murder case which took place in Rajkot on February 8, 2004. The trial court had acquitted all three accused in 2010.The third division bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Biren Vaishnav concluded that the trial court had failed to appreciate the evidence before it, leading to the acquittal of the accused who played an active role in the murder of Nilesh Rayani in an old enmity case.The trial court had acquitted 15 accused out 16 people and convicted one Samir Sirajuddin Pathan. This was challenged in the high court.On February 8, 2004, complainant Jayesh Markana, deceased Nilesh Rayani and one more person were attacked by a group of 16 persons led by BJP MLA Jayrajsinh Jadeja. The latter had first opened fire on the deceased and blocked his car. Later, the group got down from their vehicles and beat Nilesh with swords, sickles and hockey sticks. Nilesh had died on the spot while the two people with him had escaped and later lodged a complaint.

IAF-rescues-pregnant-woman-in-Gujarat @ 7/24/2017 9:35:06 AM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Indian Air Force safely evacuated a woman, her new-born twins and another pregnant woman from Nana Matra village in Vinchia tehsil of Rajkot district of Gujarat, which was flooded due to heavy rains. Acting with lightening speed, an Indian Air Force Chetak helicopter got airborne within minutes of the IAF receiving a request for immediate evacuation the two women in critical condition. The message with the location details was received at 4: 30 pm and the Chetak got airborne from Jamnagar at 4:40 pm heading for the site. It took barely anytime for the seasoned heads and hands at work at HQ SWAC Gandhinagar coordinating Human Assistance and Disaster Relief operations in the area in choosing a Chetak helicopter for this particular operation – owing to its much lesser All up Weight as compared to a MI-17V5. Keeping in view – the medical condition of those to be evacuated, the aircraft would need to land to take them on board safely (in all probability on a patch of soft ground as reported by district officials at the site). While the aircraft was enroute to Nana Matra Village of Vinchia Taluka in Rajkot district – the district administration officials informed that one of the two women to be evacuated had already delivered a set of twins and needed to be airlifted immediately. By 5: 15 pm the ‘Saviour Chetak’ was already overhead looking for a safe patch to land. The mother, with her new born twins and an attendant were instantaneously put into the aircraft and flown out to safety with due care. The aircraft landed at Jasdan helipad where they were handed over to the medical team already waiting for the aircraft on ground. The aircraft then returned to Nana Matra, this time packing up another pregnant woman bleeding profusely, in need of urgent medical attention. The lady along with an attendant was quickly evacuated and flown across the river where the medical staff and ambulance in wait took over.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Smart cities may be detrimental to India’s environment unless emphasis placed on supporting utilities: Study

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s plans to create 100 new ‘smart cities’ to support the country’s rapidly growing urban population may have a significant detrimental impact on the environment, unless greater emphasis is placed on supporting infrastructure and utilities, a major study has found.Researchers from the University of Lincoln in the UK conducted a detailed analysis of the environmental implications of the planned developments, which would see medium-rise housing (between three and five storeys) replaced with high-rise towers of 40 to 60 storeys.”When announcing its plans in 2015, the Indian government said that this type of development would be sustainable, environmentally friendly and ‘smart’,” researchers said.
ALSO READ New Smart City list released: 30 cities including Trivandrum, Naya Raipur, Rajkot selectedThe latest research suggests that the resulting increase in population density is likely to place significant extra demands on resources, including electricity and water, while simultaneously increasing the output of waste in the form of drainage, solid waste and greenhouse gasses.The predictions are based on analysis of the Indian government’s exemplar development, Bhendi Bazaar, a 16.5-acre site in Mumbai that has been put forward as a flagship of the proposed new ‘smart’ cities.The study used an ‘extended urban metabolism model’ as a means of analysing the area, providing a basis for measuring flows of resources that are both consumed by and flow from the city.It compared the existing urban form with the proposed form, considering factors such as numbers and heights of buildings, density of dwelling and population, parking provision, open space, landscaping and street frontages.The analysis was then extrapolated to predict the overall impact on the city if similar developments were to be carried out, as are proposed, across all of the Island City of Mumbai.The results suggest that in a city such this, where repeated electricity blackouts, water rationing and inadequate waste and sewage treatment are commonplace, increasing population density will have a significant further detrimental effect on the environment.”The pursuit of cities to become ‘smart’, ‘world-class’, ‘liveable’, ‘green’ or ‘eco’, has been promoted alongside increased population densities and urban compaction,” said Professor Hugh Byrd, a specialist in urban planning at Lincoln.”This planning goal must reach a point where resources are inadequate for the fully functioning metabolism of a city.”In this case, the results indicate that metabolism does not increase linearly with density but accelerates instead, so the detrimental environmental impact will increase at a greater rate than the population increase,” said Byrd.While case studies such as Bhendi Bazaar offer an exemplar for the 100 ‘smart’ cities planned by the Indian Government in terms of increased density, improved image and urban regeneration, they do not offer an answer to the problems of providing an adequate infrastructure to support the metabolism of such developments if they were to be significantly replicated, researchers said.”On this basis the exemplar development does not support the case for calling the proposals for Mumbai ‘smart’ or ‘sustainable’,” Byrd added.The study was published in the Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs.

Facebook, EDII to train Guj entrepreneurs to boost their biz

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an aim to tap into the increasing power of social media, Facebook has joined hands with the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) to impart training to over 7,500 entrepreneurs from Gujarat. It will equip them with skills to effectively use Facebook for digital marketing to grow their businesses online. As part of its ‘Boost Your Business’ programme, Facebook will also support and train 20,000 youths and entrepreneurs across the country with the help of EDII. The programme was inaugurated on Tuesday by chief minister Vijay Rupani along with Rohit Patel, minister of state – industry, mines and minerals, finance, Gujarat.A workshop to ‘Boost Your Business’ for more than 400 participating entrepreneurs from across 22 states was also conducted. ‘Boost Your Business’ will now travel to Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot. Entrepreneurs from these cities who wish to participate can register themselves on EDII’s Facebook page.Rupani said, “Our government stands for the overall development of Gujarat in line with Narendrabhai’s (PM) vision. Such programmes will help encourage entrepreneurship and employability besides provide global visibility which will help in growth of business and upliftment of society.”Ritesh Mehta, head of programmes, Facebook, South Asia, said, “Much of the state’s progress is due to the sheer industry, dedication and talent of its people. As a Gujarati, who grew up in Surat, I can confidently say that this passion for enterprise when coupled with new world skills will enable the entire country’s entrepreneurs to accelerate their businesses through online exposure and integration with global markets.”“We look forward to collaborate with Facebook to train entrepreneurs in Gujarat, and across the country, to access global markets through Facebook’s tools and technologies,” said Sunil Shukla, director, EDII.

1 dead, 2 hurt in violent clashes between Bharwads & Rajputs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Violent clashes between members of the Bharwad and Rajput communities in two districts of Gujarat today left one person dead and two seriously injured, the police said. The clashes, during which firearms were used, took place in Morbi and adjoining Surendranagar district, where Internet services have been suspended for the time being to curb rumour mongering, officials said. Incidents of arson, stone-pelting and rioting were reported from near Morbi district’s Halvad town and in some villages around Surendranagar’s Dhrangadhra town, the police said. Trouble began when members of the Rajput community had an altercation with the Bharwads while they were going to Dhrangadhra for a condolence meeting of Rajput leader Indrasinh Zala, who was hacked to death last Friday, officers at the Morbi police control said. “Some Rajputs and Bharwads came face to face near Halvad after some persons hurled stones on the former. The groups clashed when the Rajputs from different parts of Morbi district were headed towards Dhrangadhra to attend Zala’s ‘besna’ (condolence meet),” SP (Morbi) Jaypalsinh Rathod said. During the clashes in Halvad this evening, around 30 vehicles were torched. One person from the Bharwad community died, while two others were seriously injured, he said. “The situation is under control as a large number of police personnel have been deployed on the Halvad-Dhrangadhra road,” the SP said. Meanwhile, Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja urged the people from both the communities to remain calm. “To prevent spread of rumours, we have suspended Internet services in Morbi and Surendranagar. As many as seven companies of the State Reserve Police have been sent to control the situation. SPs of Rajkot, Jamnagar and Gandhidham districts along with three Range IGs were also sent to the affected areas,” said Jadeja. Zala, a former president of Dhrangadhra municipality, was in jail since 2013 in connection with the murder of a Bharwad community member and was hacked to death a day after he was released on parole. Since then, the situation in Dhrangadhra has been tense, said an official of the Surendranagar police control room. According to Surendranagar SP Deepak Kumar Meghani, violence in Halvad sparked clashes near Dhrangadhra. “After Halvad, clashes spread to Dhrangadhra. Violent mobs also torched several vehicles and attacked shops at Chuli village. We have called for reinforcements to tackle the situation,” said Meghani.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Bad roads: Congress seeks vigilance probe

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Opposition Congress has demanded a vigilance probe in road projects alleging massive corruption by the ruling BJP. Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said that the annual budget of the eight municipal corporations, viz. Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Gandhinagar, is close to Rs20,000 crore. He said that the eight municipal corporations in the state spend anywhere from Rs3,360 crore to Rs4,620 crore on road-related works every year. He said that Rs1,344-1,848 crore is spent on road resurfacing, whereas Rs2,016-2,772 crore is spent on construction of new roads each year. “The money spent on roads is about 20% of the total budget of the eight municipal corporations. The manner in which roads get washed away in just one or two inch of rainfall shows the massive corruption involved,” Doshi said, alleging that BJP leaders are filling their pockets in the name of providing facilities to the people.Doshi said that amid claims of smart city, Ahmedabad and other cities have become ‘bhuva-nagaris’ (potholed cities), and demanded a vigilance inquiry against the BJP leaders.

Apprehensive truckers stop inter-state bookings

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the GST coming into force at the stroke of midnight (June 30), the truckers have stopped booking interstate cargo.The current documents which the truck drivers carry like WAY BILL etc have been abolished under the new tax regime.The trucks entering Rajasthan border after midnight (June 30) may face some confusion at the check posts.“I hope they will allow trucks to enter the state which have previous tax documents,” a trucker driver told DNA. Since most of them had stopped booking interstate cargo, they’re currently plying inside the state only.Moreover, since it was Rajasthan Bandh on Friday, no bookings have been done by truckers, claimed truck operators’ association.Earlier, there were a large number of documents which were required by trucks. They had to pay entry tax , show the receipts of tax’s paid at various check post counters .The truckers now hope that all this will be removed once the GST is implemented.However, the drivers hope that they do not face any trouble from the authorities at the check posts since they would be having old forms also.The confusion remains about the trucks which may be coming from Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir as both states have yet to implement the GST.NO PROBLEM, SAME DOCUMENTSRafeek a truck driver from Rajkot has loaded the truck today in Sanganer Industrial Area. He says he will be carrying same set of documents when moving out of state.“We have been told by our owner that there is no problem. And that the document will be the same. I will cross Rajasthan border tomorrow or day after for Rajkot in Gujarat with same documents,” he said.

AMC to test food samples from overseas, govt units

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)’s food testing laboratory will examine food samples sent by seaports, the airport and central Gujarat’s ICDC (Integrated Child Development Scheme).According to sources, the laboratory has been empanelled by the Food and Drug Control Administration of the state department. Besides AMC’s laboratory, three other laboratories in Vadodara, Bhuj and Rajkot will conduct testing of samples.“All the four laboratories have been declared as state laboratories and, therefore, samples from various ports across the state will be sent to these labs for analysis,” said a senior official. In wake of the state government’s decision, the civic body has announced a fee chart. There are two categories of charges — Rs5000 and Rs12,000. “Samples of milk-based products and cereals, water and mineral water will be tested at Rs12,000 per sample, while testing for the rest will cost Rs5,000,” said the official, adding the development would help shore up the civic body’s revenues.

PM gives away helping devices to 18k differently-abled people

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gave away various types of helping devices to over 18,500 differently-abled people here, setting a world record on distribution of helpful gadgets to ‘divyangs.’ Maintaining that his government held a total of 5,500 such camps to help ‘divyangs’ in last three years, the prime minister rued that merely 55 such camps were organised from 1992 to 2013. Setting a world record on distribution of various devices to differently-abled people in the camp at the Race Course ground here and addressing the beneficiaries at Samajik Adhikarita Camp, Modi said only 55 such camps were organised during the 1992-2013. “The department of social justice and empowerment started the distribution of such devices to ‘divyangjans’ in 1992. You will be surprised to know that only 55 such programmes were organised from 1992 till 2013,” said the prime minister, who is on a two-day tour of Gujarat. “In the three years between 2014 and 2017, our government organised 5,500 such programmes. Just compare 55 with 5,500. It clearly shows the compassion with which our government is functioning,” the PM said. Modi said a world record was set in the camp held at the Race Course ground, wherein more than 18,000 ‘divyangjans’ were given the aids and helpful devices. “We are setting new world records. Today, we set a world record of distributing aids and devices to around 18,500 divyangjans at one place. I congratulate the Gujarat government and Rajkot district authorities for that,” the prime minister said. At the function, Modi distributed aids to some beneficiaries by calling them on the stage and interacting with them. Modi said a ‘divyang’ child is the responsibility of the society as well as of the country and not just of the family in which he or she is born. Modi urged the youth to come forward for developing new devices for ‘divyangs’ through their start-up ventures. He stated that his government is for the poor and marginalised.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM asks start-ups to help transform Divyang’s lives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Reiterating the government?s commitment to Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for more attention on Divyang people and asked the start-ups to look at ways through which innovation and technology can transform lives of the disabled. Prime Minister Modi, while addressing a programme in Rajkot, said, ?I have seen many families and mothers who were blessed with a Divyang child?the parents shower their child with so much love. It is our responsibility, as a nation, to take care of them… I urge the start-up sector to look at ways through which innovation and technology can transform lives of Divyang sisters and brothers.? The Prime Minister pointed out that the present National Democratic Government (NDA) has introduced more than 5,500 programmes to help and benefit the Divyangs. ?We must empathise with such people, we must be aware of their problems…I have made it mandatory to ensure that schemes are formed keeping disabled people in mind. And, I am happy that Gujarat has adopted this model,? he said. Remembering his political beginnings from Rajkot, Prime Minister Modi said the place holds a special place in his life. ?If Rajkot had not elected me and sent me to Gandhinagar; I may have never come to Delhi. My political career started in Rajkot. And, I will never forget the love Rajkot has showered upon me,? he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to Gujarat. His first stop visit was at the Sabarmati Ashram, which celebrated its centenary celebrations. The Prime Minister will also inaugurate various projects during his stay in Gujarat. This is Prime Minister Modi’s fifth visit this year to Gujarat where Assembly elections are due by the end of this year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Guj govt holds security review meeting ahead of PM’s visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Gujarat from Thursday, the state government today held a security review meeting here. Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja today held a review meeting with Rajkot District collector, city Police Commissioner and Rajkot Municipal Commissioner. “The PM will distribute aids and devices worth Rs 35 crore to over 18,000 divyang (specially-abled) people at a grand function here at the Race Course ground on June 29. This will be country’s biggest camp in terms of number of beneficiaries,” Jadeja said while addressing a press conference here after the meeting. As per a PIB release, as many as 18,430 specially-abled people with disabilities would get aids and devices at the Samajik Adhikarita Camp at Rajkot on June 29. After that event, the PM would reach Aaji dam in the evening to welcome the water of river Narmada, Jadeja added. “This dam will be filled with the Narmada water under the Sauni (Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation) project. Local police and district authorities have made adequate arrangements for the PM’s visit,” the minister said. Later, the PM would lead a road-show from Aaji dam up to the city airport late evening, he said adding, “The eight kilometer road-show will end at the airport from where, the PM would go straight to Gandhinagar.” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel are likely to join Modi during the road show. “To ensure foolproof security during the PM’s visit, as many as 30 IPS officers have been given the task to supervise security arrangements in the city on June 29,” he said. “Security has been beefed up in the city and over 8,000 policemen, including the State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel have been deployed in the city,” he said. “Three IG-level officers, 27 IPS officials, 65 Deputy SPs, 150 police inspectors, 500 sub inspectors and 15 companies of SRP will guard the city during PM’s visit,” he added. This will be Modi’s fourth visit this year to the poll-bound state, where Assembly elections are slated to take place by the year-end.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amrutam card: Cancer patient needn’t go in person

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On assurance from the high court that she would be issued Mukhyamantri Amrutum Scheme Card at her home in 24 hours of relevant documents being submitted by her family members, a cancer patient withdrew her petition. Meenaben Parmar, the wife of a labourer, had approached HC last week with a prayer to direct Rajkot district collector to issue Amrutum Scheme Card. Her advocate Jeet Bhatt had submitted before judge GR Udhwani that the petitioner was suffering from cancer and if the Amrutum Scheme Card was not issued, the family would not be able to afford treatment.On June 8, the judge had asked the government to get information and also provide a solution so that she got timely treatment. A project officer from health department on Thursday assured they would not insist on the bed-ridden patient coming to submit documents, but if her relatives provided the same, the card would be issued within 24 hours. Earlier, the petitioner had complained the health department was insistent the card would be issued only if she came to the office with documents.

Guj CM’s wife takes part in program to protest calf-killing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s wife Anjaliben, who lives in Rajkot, today attended a `prayer gathering’ to protest the incident of calf-killing in public by Congress workers in Kerala. The meet at Rashtriya Shala here had been organised by `Gujarat Gau Seva Raksha Dal’. Fifteen activists of the outfit shaved their heads in protest of the Kerala incident. Anjaliben also took part in puja of a cow during the program.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Karni Sena calls Rajput bodies to join hands for quota demand

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajasthan-based ‘Shri Rajput Karni Sena’ today appealed to all Rajput bodies demanding reservation to come under a united banner in a bid to “pressurise” the Central government to review the current quota system. Karni Sena president Mahipal Sinh Makrana told reporters here that nearly 15 lakh Rajputs would gather in Delhi by this year-end to raise their demand for reservation. The Rajasthan-based outfit has been holding agitations demanding reservation for the economically weaker sections among Rajputs and other upper castes for the last few years. According to Makrana, who was here as part of the Karni Sena’s exercise to expand its base in the poll-bound Gujarat, where elections are due later this year, the current reservation system has failed its purpose. “There are many Rajput bodies in different states which are running their stirs against reservation system. Now, we want to bring all such state bodies under the banner of Karni Sena, so that we can give a united fight and pressurise Central government on the issue,” he said while addressing a press conference. Makrana said the Karni Sena wants economic condition of a community be made as the key criterion for granting reservation. “We strongly believe that poor people from unreserved category should get benefits of reservation. Economic condition should be made the key parameter for reservation (policy). To mount pressure on Centre government (and) to pass a law regarding the same, we have planned a mega gathering of 15 lakh Rajputs in Delhi at the end of this year,” he said. He clarified that Karni Sena did not want reservation for Rajputs at the expense of other communities which have been availing benefits under the OBC quota. “We want economic condition-based reservation for Rajputs and other castes. For that, government need to pass a law in order to increase the (existing percentage of) quota and take it beyond the cap of 50 per cent. To compel the government to do so, we will show our strength in Delhi by this year-end,” he said. Makrana said Karni Sena has over 6.5 lakh registered members in Rajasthan alone, where they have already asked for the 14 per cent reservation for Rajputs on the basis of their economic status. “In Gujarat, we have already appointed conveners in Rajkot and Sanand. Now, we will increase our base here gradually. We have undertaken similar exercise in other Hindi-speaking states, such as Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. Our aim is to bring every Rajput under one banner,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two held with fake currency notes of Rs 72,000 face value

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons were today arrested from Amroli area here with fake currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination with face value of Rs 72,000, police said today. Accused Tulsi Sodhiya and Divyesh Kaleriya were arrested by the city crime branch sleuths when they were trying to circulate the fake currency of Rs 2,000 denomination in Amroli locality, DCP (Crime) Vishal Vaghela told reporters. “They were circulating fake currency notes for 10 per cent commission. Primary investigation reveals that they had received such notes from a person from Rajkot, identified as Pratyush. More details will be revealed after he is arrested,” Vaghela said. The duo might have succeeded in circulating such notes in Surat market, but were arrested, police recovered 36 notes with face value of Rs 2,000 each from their possession, he said. Recently, Surat police had busted a racket of printing fake currency notes using colour printer and had recovered notes with face value of Rs 4.34 lakh.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat govt to provide water by tankers to 137 villages

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat government today decided to provide water by tankers to 137 village of the state. The decision was taken after a sub-committee of the Gujarat government reviewed scarcity situation caused due to deficient rains last year. It was also decided to provide fodder at subsidised rates to 684 villages. “A state government sub-committee today met and reviewed scarcity situation in the state caused by deficient rains last year,” Gujarat revenue minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, who heads it, told reporters, after the meeting. “We have enough water and fodder. There is no problem regarding the stocks,” the minister said. “After review and reports from local authorities we have decided to provide drinking water to 137 villages located in 11 different districts by tankers, so that people of villages where local sources of water have dried up can get proper drinking water,” he said. “Water tankers will be provided daily to these villages,” he said. Looking at the situation of scarcity of fodder in villages, the sub-committee has decided to provide fodder at Rs 2 per kg to 135 more villages. Already, fodder is being supplied at subsidised rates to 549 villages. The sub-committee also reviewed the jobs provided to rural population under the NERAGA scheme, especially in the scarcity hit districts of Rajkot, Surendranagar, Botad and Kutch. He also said local MLAs and MPs have been asked to monitor the situation and report on what requires to be done to give relief to the people.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat: Three Dalit youths attempt suicide

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Dalit youths tried to end their lives by consuming some poisonous substance on Friday near the statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar in Dhoraji town in Rajkot district to press for their demand of a policeman’s arrest.Police said, after the incident, the youths– Punit Bagada, Raju Saundarva and Mayur Chaudhari– were rushed to a hospital in Junagadh, where they are now “out of danger”.The trio allegedly tried to commit suicide near the Ambedkar statue, where several people had gathered to pay their tributes to the Dalit icon on his 126th birth anniversary, police said. “Bagada, also known as ‘Jonty’, is a listed bootlegger. He had recently lodged a complaint against a constable of Dhoraji under the Prevention of Atrocities Act,” Rajkot Superintendent of Police (SP) Antrip Sood said.As per Bagda’s complaint, when was in the custody of Dhoraji police some time back on the charges of bootlegging, the constable had beaten him up. Later, Bagda had filed a complaint against the policeman, following which a case had been registered against the latter, Sood said. “Demanding immediate arrest of the constable, Bagda and two of his relatives consumed poisonous substance near the Ambedkar statue today,” the police officer said.They are now being treated at a hospital in Junagadh and are out of danger, Sood added.

Gujarat reels under severe heat; alert issued by AMC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Most parts of Gujarat today reeled under severe heat with Bhuj town in Kutch district recording the highest maximum temperature of 45.8 degrees Celsius. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has issued an “Orange Alert” for the next two days, as authorities predict that the mercury may touch the 44 degrees mark. According to the Meteorological Centre here today, Ahmedabad city recorded a maximum temperature of 43.6 degrees Celsius, almost a degree more than yesterday. Looking at the current weather conditions, the MeT Centre has issued a warning that heat wave conditions, ranging from normal to severe, would prevail over some parts of Gujarat during the next couple of days. Today, eight major towns and cities recorded over 44 degrees Celsius temperature during the day. Bhuj town remained the hottest at 45.8 degrees Celsius, followed by Surendranagar(45.7), Idar(45), Rajkot(44.8), Gandhinagar(44.6), Kandla Port(44.6), Amreli(44.5) and Deesa (44.4).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Fake currency notes worth Rs 3.92 crore seized in Rajkot

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fake currency notes with a face value of Rs 3.92 crore have been seized from a car belonging to a city-based financier lodged in jail, police said today. The currency notes were suspected to be printed by Ketan Dave, a city-based financier, who is presently in judicial custody on charges of cheating a scrap dealer Nitin Patel, they said. The Rajkot Police found the car parked at one Sukhsagar Society here last night, after the questioning of two of Dave’s accomplices, Parth Terraiya and Umang Gajjar, who are also in jail. “We searched the parked car owned by Dave and found fake currency with a face value of Rs 3.92 crore,” Rajkot Police Commissioner Anupamsinh Gehlot told reporters. Genuine currency notes worth Rs 80,000 were also seized from the same car, he added. “The accused had used high-quality paper and ink making it difficult to figure out if the currency is fake,” Gehlot said. Also, investigation is underway to ascertain whether the accused had circulated the fake currency in local market or in banks (through deposits), he added. Police had arrested Dave along with his business partner Shailesh Bambhaniya after Patel filed a complaint of cheating on February 24. Subsequent police raids on Dave’s office premises unearthed fake currency with face value of Rs 57 lakh. Patel in the FIR said Dave and Bambhaniya had promised to lend him Rs 50 lakh in cash on the condition that he issue a cheque of the same amount in the name of their financial firm. Patel had issued a cheque but failed to get the money from them following which he lodged a complaint with “A” division police station here. Their interrogation had led the police to nab the two accomplices (Terraiya and Gajjar) whose questioning led the police to seize the fake currency, Gehlot said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ISIS operative’s handler could be Indian: Gujarat ATS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Waseem Ramodiya, arrested along with his brother in Gujarat for suspected ISIS links, was being guided by an unknown handler, possibly an Indian, as they used to communicate in Hindi through an online messaging service, the Gujarat ATS has revealed. Waseem and his younger brother Naeem were arrested from Rajkot and Bhavnagar respectively during an early morning operation on Sunday. The FIR filed by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) says the duo was to carry out lone-wolf attacks after which they had planned to escape to Syria. “Analysis of the call details of the mobile phone being used by (ISIS’ controversial preacher) Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi before his arrest, showed connectivity with the mobile registered in the name of Waseem Ramodiya at the address of Nehru Nagar, Street 2, Raiya Road, Rajkot, Gujarat,” the FIR read. “In view of the same, technical and physical surveillances were kept on the bearer of the number. The surveillance had revealed that Waseem was initiated into ultra-radical Jihadi ideology as preached by the ISIS,” it added. Mufti Qasmi was arrested by the NIA in February, 2016 and was labelled as one of the main ISIS operatives in India. “Technical surveillance on Waseem Ramodiya revealed that he was in regular contact with his brother Naeem and they discussed various developments pertaining to the ISIS. The tone and tenor of the telephonic talks between the brothers clearly indicate that they were highly influenced by the ISIS’ call of establishing a caliphate and wished to be part of the so-called Jihad against non-believers,” the FIR read. The ATS has also quoted from transcripts of phone calls between the two brothers and their wives in the FIR. The FIR said, “The surveillance further revealed that Waseem was being guided by unknown handler(s).” It listed ‘Big Cat’, an online profile ID, as one of Waseem’s unknown handlers and also listed the messages between ‘Big Cat’ and Waseem, who was using a proxy profile ID, ‘Ninja Fox’, on end-to-end encrypted online messaging service Telegram. The messages exchanged between them were in Hindi, which has led the ATS to conclude that the handler was a South Asian, probably an Indian. “The ISIS handler was communicating with Waseem in Hindi. However, it needs to be probed if he is an Indian and was based in India or abroad,” ATS SP Himanshu Shukla told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

RBA passes resolution not to defend suspected ISIS operatives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rajkot Bar Association (RBA) today passed a resolution that none of its members would defend the two suspected ISIS operatives arrested by the Gujarat ATS, RBA secretary Manish Khakhar said. However, a Jamnagar-based lawyer Imtiyaz Kotecha has come forward to defend the two brothers — Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, he said. “We have passed a resolution that none of our members will defend those involved in anti-national activities and therefore no lawyer of RBA will defend the two suspected ISIS operatives Wasim and Naeem in the court,” Khakhar said. The RBA also praised the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) team and Rajkot City Police Commissioner Anupamsinh Gehlot for busting the ISIS network in Saurashtra region. “Regarding Kotecha, we cannot say anything as he is not a member of Rajkot Bar Association (RBA). He is free to defend them,” he said. Wasim and Naeem were today produced before a local court which sent them to 12-day police custody. Wasim and Naeem, who hold MCA and BCA degrees respectively, were allegedly in contact with ISIS handlers and were planning to target religious places like Chotila in Surendranagar district. Based on specific information about their alleged activities “inspired by the jihadi ideology of ISIS”, ATS officials nabbed Wasim from Rajkot and his younger brother Naeem from Bhavnagar in an early morning operation yesterday. Police had been keeping a close watch on their activities for the last three months, as they were found to be in contact with ISIS through Skype and other social media platforms.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat ATS arrests home-grown ISIS operatives who had planned ‘lone-wolf’ attacks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat ATS arrested two brothers with suspected ISIS links on Sunday, they had allegedly hatched plans to conduct “lone-wolf” attacks in the state.Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, who have MCA and BCA degrees respectively, were allegedly in contact with ISIS handlers and were planning to target religious places like Chotila, police said, adding they have recovered bomb-making material from them. Based on a specific information about their alleged activities “inspired by the jihadi ideology of ISIS”, ATS officials nabbed Wasim from Rajkot and his younger brother Naeem from Bhavnagar during an early morning operation, said officials.According to Inspector General of Gujarat ATS, JK Bhatt, explosives as well as jihadi literature were found from these suspected ISIS operatives during raids at their residences in Rajkot and Bhavnagar. “We have been keeping a close watch on them since last three months, as they were found to be in contact with ISIS through Skype and other social media platforms like Telegram, Twitter and Whatsapp. We conducted raids in Rajkot and Bhavnagar and nabbed the duo,” Bhatt told reporters in Ahmedabad on Sunday.Investigation has revealed that the two had planned to attack the famous temple at Chotila town of Surendranagar district, ATS ACP BS Chavda said. He said that to create terror, they planned to record and upload the video of the attack on social media. They had also planned to carry out blasts at different places and also set on fire vehicles to spread terror, Chavda said.The brothers, who had degrees in computer application, were indoctrinated in jihadi philosophy during the last two years after coming in contact with ISIS literature online, Chavda said. They were also in touch with ISIS’ controversial preacher Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi, arrested by NIA in February 2016, said the officer. “They were on our radar since last three months. When we arrested them, they were in the process of making an improvised bomb to carry out lone-wolf style attacks,” he said.Lone wolf style attacks are those wherein a person prepares and commits violent acts alone without assistance from any group. However, he or she may be influenced by the ideology of an external group, and may act in support of such a group. Arif Ramodiya, the father of the suspects, claimed that he did not have any knowledge about the activities of his sons.According to him, Wasim used to work at a Rajkot-based graphic designing firm after completing his MCA, while Naeem used to work with a ship recycling unit in Bhavnagar after completing his BCA. “I came to know about the activities of my sons only after police raided my residence and arrested Wasim. I had absolutely no idea about their allegiance with ISIS. No one from my family knew about it. This is really shameful for me. It has ruined my reputation,” said Arif, who was visibly shocked over the arrests. In his interaction with media, Bhatt said that the duo were held just in time, as they had hatched a plan to carry out bomb blasts at some religious places soon. “They were in touch with some unknown handlers of ISIS based in Iraq and Syria. We have nabbed them before they could execute their plan to attack some religious places in Gujarat,” said Bhatt. “They had plan to escape to Iraq or Syria after carrying out attacks here,” he said.”They were attracted to ISIS two years back and started taking interest in its activities. They were in contact with main ISIS persons as well as unknown handlers to get guidance. Evidence collected during raids, including some audio clips, established that the duo were having links with the terror outfit,” said Bhatt. According to Bhatt, “incriminating” material was allegedly found during these raids. Their father Arif Ramodiya is a retired employee of Saurashtra University and currently works as a cricket umpire. “While Wasim used to live with his father in Rajkot, Nayeem lived in Bhavnagar. We have recovered gun powder, some jihadi literature, a manual on how to make bombs, some hand made bombs and a battery during our raids. As of now, we have not found any involvement of other family members in this conspiracy,” said Bhatt.During the raids, police seized computers and mobile phones with jihadi literature and masks to hide their identity during terror attacks, added Bhatt. They have been charged under IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Explosive Substances Act. They are likely to be produced in a local court of Rajkot on Monday for transit remand.According to his neighbours, Wasim was very introvert and never talked to anyone. “This family is living here since last 15 to 20 years. But, Wasim never talked to anyone or made any friends here. We are shocked to learn about his activities,” a neighbour told mediapersons outside Ramodiya’s house.

IS operatives who allegedly planned ‘lone-wolf’ attacks held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat ATS today arrested two brothers with suspected ISIS links who allegedly hatched plans to conduct “lone-wolf” attacks in the state. Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, who have MCA and BCA degrees respectively, were allegedly in contact with ISIS handlers and were planning to target religious places like Chotila, police said, adding they have recovered bomb-making material from them. Based on a specific information about their alleged activities “inspired by the jihadi ideology of ISIS”, ATS officials nabbed Wasim from Rajkot and his younger brother Naeem from Bhavnagar during an early morning operation, said officials. According to Inspector General of Gujarat ATS, J K Bhatt, explosives as well as jihadi literature were found from these suspected ISIS operatives during raids at their residences in Rajkot and Bhavnagar. “We have been keeping a close watch on them since last three months, as they were found to be in contact with ISIS through Skype and other social media platforms like Telegram, Twitter and Whatsapp. We conducted raids in Rajkot and Bhavnagar and nabbed the duo,” Bhatt told reporters in Ahmedabad today. Investigation has revealed that the two had planned to attack the famous temple at Chotila town of Surendranagar district, ATS ACP B S Chavda said. He said that to create terror, they planned to record and upload the video of the attack on social media. They had also planned to carry out blasts at different places and also set on fire vehicles to spread terror, Chavda said. The brothers, who had degrees in computer application, were indoctrinated in jihadi philosophy during the last two years after coming in contact with ISIS literature online, Chavda said. They were also in touch with ISIS’ controversial preacher Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi, arrested by NIA in February 2016, said the officer. “They were on our radar since last three months. When we arrested them, they were in the process of making an improvised bomb to carry out lone-wolf style attacks,” he said. Lone wolf style attacks are those wherein a person prepares and commits violent acts alone without assistance from any group. However, he or she may be influenced by the ideology of an external group, and may act in support of such a group. Arif Ramodiya, the father of the suspects, claimed that he did not have any knowledge about the activities of his sons. According to him, Wasim used to work at a Rajkot-based graphic designing firm after completing his MCA, while Naeem used to work with a ship recycling unit in Bhavnagar after completing his BCA. “I came to know about the activities of my sons only after police raided my residence and arrested Wasim. I had absolutely no idea about their allegiance with ISIS. “No one from my family knew about it. This is really shameful for me. It has ruined my reputation,” said Arif, who was visibly shocked over the arrests. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

AI flight makes emergency landing after passenger suffers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi-bound Air India flight today made an emergency landing at Sanganer airport here after a woman passenger suffered cardiac arrest mid air. “The Rajkot-Delhi flight of Air India made a landing at Sanganer airport at around 11:30 AM due to a medical emergency. The woman passenger, Sima, who was traveling with her husband, had suffered a cardiac arrest,” Sanganer airport director R S Balhara said. The woman was rushed to a private hospital, he said. The airport sources later claimed that the woman died at the hospital.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gujarat: Villagers pelt stones at bank

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Villagers, who were agitated after the banks allegedly refused to dispense enough cash, protested by pelting stones at a bank branch, locking office of another bank and blocking a state highway in three separate incidents in Gujarat on Saturday, police said.At Khimana village in Shirohi taluka of Banaskantha district, angry account holders pelted stones at the branch of Dena bank alleging that it refused to give money citing cash limit. Police resorted to lathicharge to control the crowd, a police official said. “Some account holders started creating ruckus outside the bank branch after complaining that it was not giving cash despite a long wait,” said Banaskantha Dy SP Umesh Patel.”Soon villagers gathered outside the branch and started pelting stones. Police resorted to mild lathicharge. At least two police officials received minor injuries in the incident. As a precautionary measure, the bank was locked from outside so that no bank officials were hurt,” Patel said.He said no FIR was lodged yet in this connection but police are investigating the matter. In a similar kind of incident, angry account holders locked the branch of Bank of India at Modhwada village in Porbandar district after complaining that the bank refused to give them money despite standing in queue for hours, police said.Later police reached the village and brought the situation under control, officials of Porbandar police control room said. Agitated account holders at Dhrol town and nearby villages of Jamnagar district resorted to blocking of a state highway for some minutes disrupting traffic alleging that banks in their area were not giving them money. “Angry villagers blocked a Dhrol-Rajkot highway near Dhrol in Jamnagar district for several minutes before police were rushed to remove them from the road and clear the traffic,” a police official of Dhrol police station said.

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