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Gujarat elections 2017: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani wins as an independent in Vadgam

Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani won Vadgam with a margin of 19,696 votes. With the victory, Mevani, became the first independent to win the seat in the last nine elections.Mevani, an outsider (he is a resident of Ahmedabad) contested as an independent but with the backing of Congress. The party had not fielded a candidate against Mevani, who won 95,497 votes against the BJP’s 75,801.Interestingly, the third highest votes were polled for NOTA in Vadgam. NOTA got 4,255 votes.The seat is dominated by Dalits and Muslims and was considered a safe seat for the Congress although many also doubted if Mevani’s outsider tag would work against him.Mevani’s victory margin is, however, less than what the Congress candidate had managed in 2012. In that election Congress won with a victory margin of 21,839.The BJP’s Yogi Adityanath and Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani had campaigned for the BJP in Vadgam.It should be noted that Mevani had on the last day of filing nomination announced his candidature as an independent from Vadgam seat. Till then, he had maintained that he would not take political plunge nor would he join any party. He had also met Congress president Rahul Gandhi during his visit to the state, pressing for the demands of Dalits. It is believed that the agreement to contest Vadgam with backing from the party was reached in that meeting. The Gandhi scion had also campaigned for Mevani in Vadgam and so had Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil. In fact, Mevani was helped by the Congress machinery during his poll campaign.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Amidst water crisis & tourism, Kutch records 63% voter turnout

Kutch, one of the constituencies where the first phase of polling took place on Saturday recorded 63% voter turnout, which is just three percent more than Porbandar and Botad that recorded lowest turn out across the state. District wise glitches were not shared till late evening.The voter turnout since morning in Kutch remained on an average with 12.87% voting in first two hours, 30.57% till 12 pm, 44.6 % till 2 pm and 63% till 5 pm.All eyes are on two seats of Kutch – Mandvi and Bhuj. This time, the Congress attempted to breach the BJPs traditional bastion – Mandvi seat by wooing a cross section of voters. The Congress pitched Shaktisinh Gohil who locked horns with BJP’s new face Virendrasinh Jadeja, who is also a Rajput, in the Muslim-dominated Mandvi Assembly constituency.Gohil is a sitting MLA from Abdasa seat of Kutch, but the Congress decided to field him from Mandvi this time. In an attempt to avoid the anti-incumbency factor, the BJP dropped its sitting sittinig MLA Tarachand Chheda and chose Jadeja who faced a defeat from Rapar seat in 2007.Mandvi seat has a total voter base of 2.24 lakh out of which the Muslims are in a dominating position with over 50,000 voter population, followed by around 31,000 Dalits, 25,000 Patidars and 21,000 Rajputs.Amidst water crisis and tourism that brought income opportunities, whether Kutchis continue to back Saffron or vote for change is yet to be seen. Another seat to watch out for will be Bhuj where while Congress has pitched a minority candidate Adam Chaki against BJP’s Nima Acharya who has been winning since 2007. It is also interesting to note that Nima had defected from Congress and joined BJP in 2007.There are lot of issues faced by people of Bhuj and since Chaki is a known face, he may benefit from the unrest caused due to Nima in Bhuj this year.During previous election, BJP had won five seats. Post delimitation the number of seats in the two regions had come down to 56.Seats:Mandvi, Rapar, Anjar, Bhuj, Abdasa and GandhidhamIssues:Drinking water supplyLand acquisition by industries

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | In Mandvi, it’s Shaktisinh Gohil against Virendrasinh Jadeja

One of the Congress’s most prominent faces in Gujarat, Shaktisinh Gohil, is taking on BJP’s Virendrasinh Jadeja from Mandvi seat in Kutch. Both belong to the Kshatriya community, which has a sizeable presence in the constituency.Gohil, one of the few suave faces in Gujarat Congress, had lost in the 2012 elections against Koli strongman Purushottam Solanki from Bhavnagar Rural seat, but was re-elected to the Assembly from Abdasa in 2014, albeit with a margin of just over 750 votes.However, instead of contesting again from Abdasa, Gohil is in the fray from the adjacent Mandvi constituency, which BJP’s Tarachand Chheda had won in the previous elections. BJP has dropped Chheda, and fielded Jadeja from the seat. There are a significant number of minority voters in Mandvi, in addition to Dalits as well as Patidars, who give an advantage to Congress.Gohil is focusing his campaign mainly on issues related to Kutch, such as lack of development in the area, delay in completion of Narmada canal network, failure to create enough jobs, among others.While the BJP has dismissed Gohil as an outsider, he responds by saying it was in his destiny to contest from Mandvi, “so that I can clear some past dues of Kutch”. His rival and BJP candidate Virendrasinh Jadeja is relatively lesser known face, and he faces a big challenge in the contest against Gohil. ConstituencyMandviPrevious Results2002: Cong2007: BJP2012: BJP (Tarachand Chheda dropped)Total Voters2,24,902Male1,16,476Female1,08,426
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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

Five days after joining Congress, Koli leader back to BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five days after he had joined the Congress, Koli community leader Raju Solanki returned to the BJP in the presence of party president Amit Shah in Gandhinagar on Friday.Solanki, who also heads the Veer Mandhata Group, had joined Congress on Sunday in the presence of party’s state chief Bharatsinh Solanki, party’s Gujarat in-charge Ashok Gehlot, and other leaders.The Congress had plans to pit Solanki against Koli strongman and minister Parsottam Solanki, but it has been nipped in the bud. Solanki described Parsottam Solanki as an elder brother, and attributed his decision to return to the BJP to Congress’s plan to divide the Koli community votes.”The Congress wanted to pit me against Parsottam Solanki, who is a top leader of our community, and also like my elder brother. I have rejected the offer. I have been working with him for 20 years, and it was natural that I would not be ready to fight against him,” Solanki said.Solanki also claimed that he had taken the decision to join Congress in an impulsive manner, and had been convinced by community leaders to rejoin the BJP. The move, seen as a blow to Congress, once again changes equations in Bhavnagar, which sends key political figures such as Parsottam Solanki, state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani and senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil to the assembly.

BJP’s Koli leader Parsottam Solanki plans shift to Talaja

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat BJP’s face for the Koli community and Minister of State for Fisheries in the Gujarat government Parsottam Solanki is planning to change his seat from Bhavnagar rural to Talaja for the upcoming polls. The reason behind this is the fear of ire among the Patel and Karadia communities that prevailed among the voters in the area. As compared to Bhavnagar Rural that has equal share of voters from the Rajput community, Talaja is a safer seat as the Koli (fisherman) community has greater dominance here.A source from the party said, “Solanki, due to bad health, remained totally inactive as a representative of Bhavnagar Rural. Moreover, he did not make any impression as a minister as he avoided the Secretariat on health grounds. Now, people here want a candidate who is active and can work. It is possible that the party may field a new face from the Rajput community keeping the caste combination in mind.”Solanki has been helpful to the BJP in attracting Koli votes across Saurashtra region. The community has dominance over 20 seats in the region and the entire community and BJP has been winning them by huge margins. He was among the 40 star campaigners of the BJP in the last Gujarat Assembly polls held in 2012.Solanki’s opponent and senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil also does not wish to contest polls from the seat. In fact, Gohil, who lost to Solanki in 2012 polls, won from Abdasa seat of Kutch in the bypolls of 2014. Gohil now wishes to challenge Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani in Bhavnagar West in the upcoming polls.Sources from the Congress said, “Shaktisinh is not willing to contest from the same seat he contested in 2012. He wishes to contest polls from Bhavnagar (west) rather, because the seat has a combination of Patel and Karadia community and that is totally against Jitu Vaghani. If not, Gohil will contest polls from the Mandvi seat in Kutch.”KAVADIYA SAYS WILL CONTEST POLLSDays after he informed the BJP that he did not wish to contest the polls, Jayanti Kavadiya, minister of state for rural development and panchayat, said he is now ready for the fray, but from a different constituency.
Kavadiya is an MLA from Dhrangadhra-Halwad constituency, the region where the Patel agitation has had a great impact. The Patel community had also held protests against Kavadiya, indicating that he was up against a rising force.
Kavadiya has now wished to contest the polls from different seat and not from Dhrangadhra. “He may be eyeing at Wadhwan seat that is safer because of urban population and lesser dominance of Patel,” said a source.

BJP govt is responsible for delaying Narmada project, alleges Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Narmada project is going to be one of the major issues in the upcoming assembly elections. While the BJP government has embarked on a Narmada Yatra since September 6 to celebrate the Centre’s nod to close the dam’s gates, the Congress blamed the successive BJP government for delaying the project completion.Addressing media-persons, senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil said that environmental approval for Narmada project was received in June 1987, and BJP has been in power in Gujarat for 22 out of 30 years.“Congress was in power in the state only for seven years, and BJP is ruling since 1995. Majority of the work related to Narmada project was completed during the years that our party was in power. More than 43,000 km out of the total 90,000 km Narmada canal network is still unfinished due to BJP government’s failure,” Gohil said.It was in June 2014 that the Narmada Control Authority gave nod to install gates which would increase the dam’s height to 138 metre. The nod to close the gates came in June, with the BJP claiming it was because of Modi, and Congress alleging that the claim was made for upcoming polls.Gohil also claimed that the state gains nothing by either increasing the dam’s height or closure of gates.Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said that Congress would give top priority to Narmada canal work when it came to power.Rejecting Gohil’s claims, state revenue minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama said that the height of the Narmada dam has gone up from 80.3 metre in 1995 to 138 metre now under the BJP rule.Chudasama also said that the state had to suffer the loss of over Rs 30,000 crore due to the unpardonable delay of UPA government in approving the installation of gates on the dam. He added that canal network of nearly 50,000 km has been completed so far.

Ahmed Patel’s RS poll win, just the booster Congress needed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dramatic Rajya Sabha win of Congress’ chief strategist Ahmed Patel is being widely hailed in internal circles as the booster shot the party needed and a turning point in its fortunes. Patel, Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, pushed back an aggressive BJP to win a high stakes battle for the RS seat from Gujarat, providing state cadres a big reason to cheer. Gujarat goes for Assembly elections shortly. Congress general secretary in-charge of Gujarat Ashok Gehlot described Patel’s victory in the RS poll as a morale booster for party cadres across the country and a significant marker of the BJP’s fallibility. “The BJP has suffered a lot of damage in this election. Its credibility has taken a huge hit. There was no tool they didn’t employ to put spokes in Congress wheels. BJP chief Amit Shah himself went and sat in Gujarat during counting. “Ahmed Patel’s win will have a positive impact for us not just in Gujarat but across the country. People saw the extent to which BJP can fall to win one seat at the cost of democracy. One election has exposed the BJP totally and this victory will prove a boon for Congress,” Gehlot said. Congress insiders hailed Patel’s win for another reason – the fact that it showed BJP’s electoral vulnerability after a long time. “This win has broken the myth of BJP invincibility and it has also boosted workers’ morale hugely. It will reverse the down slide Congress was facing. It will send a positive signal across India and will boost Congress’ chances in upcoming polls,” Gehlot said describing Patel as a pole of opposition unity and his win as the harbinger of positive electoral fortunes for the Congress. Gujarat state leaders say Patel’s historic win against the might of BJP top brass will become an turning point in the upcoming state polls. “Ahmed Patel’s win will prove a turning point for Congress in Gujarat. We are getting reports of people not appreciating the aggression the BJP put into winning one RS seat. This is bound to prove counterproductive for the BJP which lost out in the final game,” Shaktisinh Gohil, senior Congress leader from Gujarat and party’s spokesperson told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Shaktisinh displeased Vaghela to appease Patel: Bharat Pandya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gujarat BJP has taken a dig at Congress senior MLA and national spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil for his role in Rajya Sabha polls. BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said that Gohil displeased a leader of the masses like Shankersinh Vaghela to appease Ahmed Patel while addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad on Thursday.Pandya said, “Congress has always had a culture to appease leaders in the top, may they be from the Nehru-Gandhi family or their close confidantes. Gohil has also done the same and displeased a leader like Shankersinh Vaghela to appease Ahmed Patel. Congress will have to pay a huge price in the near future for Vaghela’s displeasure.”Gohil was Ahmed Patel’s polling agent and had raised an objection against the votes of Raghavji Patel and Bhola Gohil for showing the ballot paper to BJP leaders. The objection was upheld by the Election Commission and both votes were cancelled.He also said that Congress MLAs from different communities like Rajput, OBC, SC and ST have defected from the party as they were not satisfied with the leadership. They had to leave Congress as the leaders did not respect them, he said.”Congress lost 14 of its MLAs and that is almost 25% of their total strength in the Gujarat Assembly. This shows that Congress is broken. They are talking of Navsarjan (reconciliation), but they are leading towards Visarjan (dissolution). They are not considering the people’s mandate and are instead following the path shown by members of Nehru-Gandhi family,” added Pandya.The BJP spokesperson also alleged that Gohil had threatened and admonished Raghavji Patel and Bhola Gohil when they went to show him their ballot papers. Pandya further added that Gohil also tried to the snatch ballot paper from their hands, but failed. This was a part of Gohil’s and Congress’ pre-planned conspiracy, Pandya alleged.

Any attempts by BJP to bribe us will be foiled: Gujarat Congress MLAs in Bengaluru

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon after raids carried out by the Income Tax Department (ITD) on the premises of Karnataka Minister D K Shivakumar had ended, the Congress Party on Saturday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had initiated it to instill a sense of fear.Speaking to the media here, Congress party MLA Shaktisinh Gohil accompanied by the 43 other MLAs who flew down to Bengaluru from Gujarat last week, painted the IT raids to be a ‘misuse of power’.”D K Shivakumar has been a businessman for 30 years, and has regularly filed tax returns. Three-day continuous raids are unheard of; this is a misuse of power by the BJP. The case being investigated is an old one; why did the IT department wait for us to come and then begin the raids? This has been one by the BJP solely to instill fear”, he said while suggesting raids to be conducted in the office of the BJP Chief Amit Shah.Earlier, the 44 Congress MLAs currently stationed in Bengaluru attended a meeting with the Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Rudabhai Vala, in an attempt to ‘safegaurd’ democratic principles.”Vajubhai has been a Speaker of the Gujarat Assembly, so he knows each of us personally. He has been an honest individual, who has risen above politics. This is why we chose to meet him, to safeguard our democracy and stand by our principles; not to indulge in dirty politics like the BJP”, said Gohil.”We want to go back as soon as possible, although nothing has been planned yet. We have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow”, he added. Furthermore, Gohil denied reports of MLAs being detained by force, and said any attempt by the saffron party to contact Congress party leaders or workers will be recorded hereafter.”Neither we offer bribes nor accept it. We have notified our party cadets to install CCTVs wherever necessary. Any attempts of the BJP to buy us will be foiled. We will also record calls if required”, added Gohil.Earlier, the Congress accused the BJP of buying and threatening their MLAs in Gujarat for Rs 15 crore and parading its 44 MLAs in Bengaluru.The Congress had earlier said that the BJP is using “money, muscle and state power” to engineer defection, after at least six of its MLAs resigned to join the BJP.In this backdrop, the Election Commission of India sought an inquiry report from the Chief Secretary of Gujarat over the allegations made by the Congress.

Why should Congress parade 44 MLAs when Gujarat is reeling from floods, BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday questioned the opposition Congress for flying 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru at a time when the state of Gujarat is reeling from floods. Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ANI, ?Gujarat continues to reel from floods, but Congress representatives are busy parading their MLAs. The time when Gujarat needed the Congress, its public representatives were not present.? Naqvi further said that if the Congress MLAs are discontented with the party?s functioning, then it is not the BJP?s fault. ?If the Congress MLAs are unhappy with the functioning of the party, then it is not our fault. The situation in the Congress is disruptive. The public is rejecting the Congress. Their own MLAs are refusing to be a part of the party?, he said. BJP Gujarat unit president Jitu Vaghani said, “Only to make one man win, the entire Congress is falling. There is no Congress leadership in the country now, as its own members do not trust their own candidates. They have failed themselves.” On Sunday, the Congress accused the BJP of buying and threatening their MLAs in Gujarat for Rs. 15 crore and paraded its 44 MLAs who are camping in Bengaluru. Addressing a press conference, senior Congress MLA from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Ask these MLAs the way they are threatened, they chose to stand by party even when offered Rs.15 crore.” “The BJP is hitting below the belt; we are fighting to protect the democracy. We have the required numbers. There is no need for us to stay here (Bengaluru) for even a minute if they (BJP) say, they won’t threaten”, he added. Gohil further said that they have also managed to establish contact with seven Congress MLAs, who were reportedly inaccessible. The Congress had earlier said that the BJP is using “money, muscle and state power” to engineer defection, after at least six of its MLAs resigned to join the BJP. The party on July 28 flew 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru to stop more of them from switching over to the BJP. In this backdrop, the Election Commission of India on Saturday sought an enquiry report from the Chief Secretary of Gujarat by Monday over the allegations made by the Congress.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress may distribute money to their MLAs to ensure their loyalty-Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday condemned the Congress Party?s act of locking its MLAs in the wake of the horse-trading allegations and said it may happen that the grand old party distributes money to their leaders to remain loyal to the party. ?This act of the Congress Party indicates that they are trying to hide the nefarious activities of their MLAs and can distribute money to them to remain loyal to the party,? Swamy told ANI. Swamy said there is no use of locking the MLAs in a different state and the Congress Party cannot excuse themselves by saying that this has been done by other parties as well in the past. ?The MLAs could be congregated at one place, to ensure that they are not absent at the time of voting, but locking them up is not correct,? he said. Earlier on Sunday, the Congress accused the BJP of buying and threatening their MLAs in Gujarat for Rs. 15 crore and paraded its 44 MLAs who are camping here. Addressing a press conference, senior Congress MLA from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil said, “Ask these MLAs the way they are threatened, they chose to stand by party even when offered Rs. 15 crore.” The Congress had said that the BJP is using “money, muscle and state power” to engineer defection, after at least six of its MLAs had resigned from the party to join the BJP. The party on July 28 flew 44 of its MLAs to Bengaluru to stop more of them from switching over to the BJP. In this backdrop, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday sought an enquiry report from the Chief Secretary of Gujarat over the allegations made by the Congress.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Congress veteran Shankarsinh Vaghela visits Delhi; to share his ‘feelings’ with supporters on Friday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress veteran Shankarsinh Vaghela, said to be unhappy with his party, will make an important announcement and share his “feelings” with his supporters during a mega gathering on his birthday tomorrow in Gandhinagar.”Sulking” for not having been given a free hand for the party’s campaign for the state assembly election due later this year, the former chief minister today visited Delhi for some “personal” work.He is expected to make an important announcement about his future course of action at tomorrow’s event in the state capital.Vaghela had earlier slammed the state Congress over “lack of homework” for the assembly polls.The Leader of Opposition visited the national capital earlier in the day and on his return in the evening, he claimed that it was purely a “personal” visit and refused to divulge details about whom he met.When asked about the cross voting by Congress MLAs in favour of NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Vaghela claimed ignorance.”I voted for UPA nominee Meira Kumar. I don’t know about cross voting. My Delhi visit was purely personal. It was not political,” he told reporters at the airport.At least eight MLAs of the opposition Congress in BJP-ruled Gujarat appeared to have voted Kovind.On Tuesday, Vaghela had announced that he would hold a mega gathering of his supporters on his 77th birthday (July 21) to share his “feelings” and give a message.The gathering, which is scheduled to be held near Gandhinagar Town Hall, is being seen as his attempt to display his political might ahead of the assembly polls.However, Vaghela has maintained that it was not a “show of strength” against the Congress leadership.As the sudden move by him shook the state Congress, several leaders, including former state party president Siddharth Patel and AICC spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil, met him and urged him not to announce his retirement at the event tomorrow.Speculations are also rife that Vaghela has made his mind to part with Congress, if not retirement.When asked about Vaghela’s next possible move, be it retirement or opening a new front by quitting Congress, his son and Congress MLA Mahendrasinh Vaghela said, “Wait and watch.”Mahendrasinh, however, asserted that his father, fondly known as ‘Bapu’, will not announce retirement.”I know him not just as his son, but also as a Congress worker. Therefore, I can say that Bapu will never announce retirement. He will never leave active politics,” Mahendrasinh told

No secret pact between Tata Motors and Modi: Shah Commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Justice M B Shah Commission has rejected Congress’ allegation that former Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had entered into a “clandestine understanding” with Tata Motors over setting up the company’s Nano car manufacturing plant at Sanand in the state. The Commission, whose report was tabled in the state Assembly last week looked into the allegations against Modi, which mostly pertained to allotment of land for major industrial and infrastructure projects, including nine cases related to Tata Nano plant, Adani Group’s Mundra Port and SEZ, and Larsen and Toubro. In their memorandum to then President Pratibha Patil in 2011, state Congress leaders had alleged that Tata Motors received undue concessions to the tune of Rs 33,000 crore out of the “secret understanding between Modi and the company.” The Congress leaders had also alleged that former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia had played a major role in this project, which was shifted to Gujarat from West Bengal in 2008. “The said project was proposed to be established initially at Singur in West Bengal, which was later shifted to Gujarat after a clandestine understanding with Tata Motors Ltd and the then Chief Minister of Gujarat,” Congress’ allegation in the Commission report stated. “It is stated that the whole project was negotiated by Ms Neera (sic) Radia,” it added. However, convinced by the detailed reply filed by the state government over the Tata Nano project, the Shah panel said it was difficult to accept the points raised by Congress leaders. The observation was made by the Commission in its report, which runs into almost 5,000 pages. “It will be difficult to accept the contention that there was a clandestine understanding between Tata Motors Ltd (TML) and the CM of Gujarat. The whole project was negotiated with TML by different secretaries of various departments,” the report said. “It is true that Tata Motors Ltd was invited to establish the project in Gujarat. Other states were keen to establish the said project in their states, particularly Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. However, Gujarat got the deal,” the report said. Besides this, the Commission has also not found any substance in almost all the allegations of corruption levelled by the Congress against Modi. Giving a clean chit to the then Modi government for allotting land for the Tata Nano project, the Commission said the government did not break any rules. “Public interest, particularly for the state of Gujarat, was a paramount consideration for inviting Tata to establish Nano project and an automotive hub in the state of Gujarat. The said policy decision was taken in conformity with the Central government policy of establishing automotive industry,” the report said. Congress leaders, including Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhvaida, had submitted a memorandum to the then President in July 2011, listing 17 allegations of corruption against Modi. Modi had set up the panel under retired Supreme Court judge M B Shah in August 2011 to enquire into 15 out of 17 allegations, as remaining two were sub-judice.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Ahead of Gujarat elections this year, fight for CM candidate intensifies in Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Intense lobbying has started for nomination as Congress’ chief ministerial candidate in Gujarat assembly polls to be held later this year.Ever since the party hinted at fighting the polls with a CM face, social media campaigns projecting various leaders have become the order of the day in Gujarat Congress.The front runners in the race are Leader of Opposition Shankarsinh Vaghela and Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief Bharatsinh Solanki, according to party leaders.Other probables are national spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil, Arjun Modhwadia and Siddarth Patel, both former state unit chiefs. “There is a race between Vaghela and Solanki to get declared as the chief ministerial candidate and intense lobbying is on with the central leadership,” Congress sources said.Many in the party believe that Congress this time has a good chance to defeat the BJP in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. They say factors like the absence Modi from the scheme of things in Gujarat, Patel quota agitation, Dalit unrest, anti-incumbency and want of a credible leader in the BJP could all work in Congress’ favour.The BJP has been in power in Gujarat since 1998. Projection of a strong CM face will give it an edge in the poll, said some leaders, who do not want to be identified.Supporters of Vaghela have launched a Facebook campaign page “Vaghela as CM” to push his candidature. The page describes Vaghela as the only available option with the Congress to defeat the BJP in Gujarat.Posters supporting Solanki have come up at places projecting him as a chief ministerial probable.Party sources said that both the camps are making all attempts to win over the support of other state leaders.Also, their trips to Delhi have become a frequent these days. Vaghela flew to Delhi earlier this week to meet Ahmed Patel, the political secretary of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.Patel is from Gujarat and is said to have a decisive say in Gujarat party affairs.In an earlier interview to PTI, Solanki had indicated that the party could declare a chief ministerial face in Gujarat, on the lines of Punjab.

PAC flags lack of manpower, weapons, ammunition for Guj police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Gujarat Assembly today said the state police and its anti-terror wing suffered from serious shortage of staff, weapons, ammunition and other infrastructure. Police were facing almost 60 per cent shortage of arms and ammunition, PAC said in its report tabled in the House. “The CAG audit (in 2009) noted that police should have enough stock of ammunition….However, the audit found acute shortage…This compelled the forces to compromise in terms of firepower,” said the report, adding that the situation had not improved in the last seven years. Against the requirement of two lakh cartridges of INSAS rifles, not a single cartridge was in stock in 2008-09 and so these rifles remained unused. “As we share border with Pakistan, such shortage is indeed worrisome,” PAC said. “The CAG had pointed out that ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) personnel were not given any specialised training….lower- rank staff such as inspectors and sub inspectors were not given any INSAS rifles as suggested by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D),” said the PAC. INSAS rifles were alloted later, but they were useless due to non-availability of cartridges, it said. As per the latest data, almost 50 per cent posts in ATS were vacant against the sanctioned strength of 70, it said. “CAG made such observations in March 2009…the situation has actually deteriorated as of May 2016,” it said. “We recommend the government to fill up vacant posts at the earliest, provide them training and provide enough arms and ammunition,” said the report. The border district of Banaskantha has only one four-wheeler for 15 police stations, while Kutch district has only 33 four-wheelers for 44 police stations, it said. “The communication wing was facing acute shortage of manpower. Against the sanctioned strength of 32 wireless Police Inspectors, 30 posts were lying vacant,” it said. PAC, with members from both ruling BJP and opposition Congress, is currently headed by Congress’ Shaktisinh Gohil. PAC’s job is to scrutinise CAG audits and make recommendations.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Similarly, Wadhwani was also given first aid, as she

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>alleged that she too sustained injury on her arm after being pushed by Thakor. When the House met after a break of almost an hour, Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja along with Deputy CM Nitin Patel urged the Speaker to take stern action against both the Congress MLAs. While Jadeja alleged that Thakor even tried to choke Wadhwani’s throat, Vaghela alleged that BJP members incited their MLAs by saying derogatory and abusive things in the presence of women MLAs of both the parties. On the proposal by the Treasury benches to suspend both Dhanani and Thakor for the entire session, senior Congress MLA Shaktisinh Gohil argued that BJP members were equally responsible for the ruckus and they too need to be expelled. Finally, the Speaker held Thakor and Dhanani guilty of indiscipline and suspended them for the remaining period of the budget session, scheduled to end on March 31. In protest, Congress MLAs walked out of the House.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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