Porbandar: The Gujarat election in Porbandar’s Kutiyana seat is expected to be a tough battle for political survival with BJP’s woman candidate Dheliben Odedara and Samajwadi Party’s (SP) candidate Kandhal Jadeja in the fray.
Mr Jadeja, the two-time MLA from Porbandar’s Kutiyana seat, the son of the late ‘Godmother’ Santokben Sarmanbhai Jadeja, got a ticket from the SP after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) denied him a ticket in the upcoming polls. Mr Jadeja’s direct fight is also with Congress candidate Nathbhai Bhurabhai, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Bhimabhai Makwana.
While the BJP, which has been in power in Gujarat for the last 27 years, has roped in the municipal corporation chairman for the last 27 years, Dheliben Odedara, to contest the election from Kutiyana seat.
Political sources say that both Kandhal and Dheliben have been close to ‘Godmother’ Santokben Sarmanbhai Jadeja’s family and the two are relatives.
Speaking to ANI, BJP candidate Dheliben Odedara said, “I have the courage to contest against him (SP’s Kandhal Jadeja). I will win by a big margin…Voters of Kutiyana constituency know and respect me. I look after the poor and everyone else. So, I’m confident that the people of Kutiyana will vote for me.”
She also attacked Kandhal Jadeja and said that he is known for threatening people to cast their vote for him. “I don’t threaten anyone. I appeal to my voters to vote for me if they like me. Kandhal Jadeja (SP candidate from Kutiyana) threatens people to vote,” she said. Countering Dheliben’s claims, Kandhal Jadeja, the SP candidate, said, “Had you asked about our fear among people in ’80s-90s’, I would have said yes.”
“There was ballot paper back then, and now there is EVM. People vote for me due to my work, not because of any fear,” he said, when asked if people vote for him out of fear or love, given his family background. On being asked about NCP’s denial of the ticket, Mr Jadeja said, “Nobody knew about NCP when I brought it here in 2012. I contested and won twice. People voted on my name.”
“I resigned from the party, everybody followed and resigned. NCP is finished in Gujarat. I’ve now hopped on a bicycle,” said Mr Jadeja while speaking to ANI. Similarly, in the Porbandar City seat, there is a triangular fight between the BJP’s Babubhai Bokhiriya, Congress’ Arjunbhai Modhvadiya, and AAP’s Jeewan Jungi.
The two constituencies are slated to go to polls on December 1 and the counting of votes will take place on December 8.