She is following the footsteps of her late husband Haren Pandya. After 1998, Jagurti Pandya is out once again in the Ellisbridge visiting people door-to-door. The difference this time is that while earlier she used to ask votes for husband, now she is seeking the mandate for herself.
Jagruti Pandya’s campaign is slightly unusual. She prefers to door-to-door campaign over public meetings. “Meetings are very time consuming. When you go to people, they tell you about their problems and you learn what they want you to do if you are elected.”
Pandya begins her day at 6 am after offering prayers at the small temple inside her house. She goes to the main office at about 8 am. After taking to her workers, she drives to the area where she is to canvass today.
Her strategy is simple. She tells people, “Do not forget Haren Pandya. Vote to get justice for the leader who served you for several years.” She reminds people, “Did Haren visit you only during elections? I am his wife and will serve you as he did.”
Haren had inherited the style from Babubhai Vasanwala who used to campaign door-to-door. Jagurti only has a small hand held announcing system and about 10-15 odd workers. She says that the response she is getting from the lower middle class people is tremendous. “People still remember Haren with tears in their eyes,” says Jagruti.
Later in the days she plans her round for the next days and then late in the evening she hold meeting with the society secretaries and with other small groups.
Tension coursed through Dharnidhar area late on Tuesday night after posters of former minister of state for home, Haren Pandya, were torn off. Pandya was gunned down in 2003. His widow, Jagruti Pandya, is contesting the polls from Ellisbridge on a Gujarat Parivartan Party ticket. She said that the vandalism was the handiwork of BJP workers.
On Wednesday, supporters of Jagruti attacked a truck of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s encroachment department as the department’s personnel removed posters of Haren Pandya which were put up by the Samarpan Seva Trust. The posters did not have any election appeal. They read: “I may not be present amid you, but my voice is always there.”
Sources said that on Tuesday at 11.30 pm, some persons – as yet unidentified – tore off the posters. The people in the nearby area had caught and bashed up some of them. However, the troublemakers managed to run away.
As for the action of the encroachment department, executive town development officer of AMC, H R Shah said that seven posters had been removed. “The posters of Pandya were put up on private places,” he said. “Since the trust did not seek permission from the owners before sticking the posters, they had to be removed.”
Jagruti Pandya later said: “The BJP, which could not succeed through its workers in the night, on Wednesday misused the AMC machinery and targeted posters with Haren’s photo. BJP leaders have exposed themselves and their fear associated with my late husband.”
She said that she would not waste time in lodging an official complaint. She said that the people of her constituency had realized that the BJP was frustrated because of the response she was getting from the constituents.
Relief from inflation
Rs 100 per month subsidy on gas cylinders for residential users 30% relief on Value Added Tax on petrol, diesel and CNG 20% relief on ST bus tickets 50% relief in bus tickets for senior citizens Two saris free for BPL families.
4.5 lakh pending applications for electricity connections to be given in two years New power connections in 90 days The present rate of Rs 850 per horsepower will be reduced to Rs 500 for famers No police action in case of power theft, only fine to be collected Abolish VAT on chemical fertilizers No metered power for farmers.
Free power for residents of villages Buffer stock of foodgrains in rural areas so no one goes to bed without dinner 110 yard free plot for homeless people Interest free loan of Rs one lakh for construction of house on the plot.
Life saving drugs free for all in government hospitals and dispensaries. No VAT on life saving drugs. Cow protection squad to be set up in Municipal Corporations to protect cow and its progeny from illegal slaughter Free treatment for kidney, heart and cancer ailment.
Early completion of Narmada irrigation canal Implementation of Kalpsar project Construction of two lakh check-dams.
Illegal societies to be regularized at nominal fee Slum areas to be regularized Houses for those who do not own a house .
Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) led by Keshubhai Patel on Monday withdrew its candidate expressing solidarity to Congress candidate from the Maninagar seat Shweta Bhatt, the wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who is contesting the election against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
The GPP pulled its candidate back a day after Shewta appealed to all political parties to withdraw its candidates in order to make her electoral battle against Modi easier.
“I appeal to all the political parties which oppose BJP to support me in my political battle against the Gujarat Chief Minister… I appeal especially to GPP Chief Keshubhai Patel to withdraw his candidate,” Bhatt told reporters yesterday.
The Maninagar constituency is considered to be a BJP stronghold.
In her maiden press conference, Shweta Bhatt said, “I am not fighting this political battle for myself alone … I am fighting it on behalf of entire Gujarat, so those who have faith in the Constitution and democracy… political outfits and individuals should support me.”
“I am a very new entrant into politics… I have come with a true heart, to speak the truth, and want to do something,” she said.
Asked what would be her response if Keshubhai Patel made a counter appeal, Bhatt said, “So far no such appeal has been made from GPP. If it comes, we would see.”
Replying to a query about complaint filed in a Lucknow court that her husband violated service rules by accompanying her to file nomination, Bhatt said, “I am an Indian woman and would expect my husband to support me in my endeavours. He came to extend moral support to his wife.”