Gujarat CM's Cong bashing won't cut ice in Anand

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s rhetorics against the Congress’ dynasty politics is unlikely to polarise the electorate at Anand, where the Solankis having been ruling the roost for generations.

Former chief minister and veteran Congress leader Madhavsinh Solanki leads the charge in Anand, which has remained a Congress stronghold for some time. Besides him and his son Bharatsinh Solanki, who is a Union minister, other relatives too have also made a mark in active politics.

Here, people still hold Madhavsinh’s regime as a golden era in Gujarat. Going by the respect the Solankis command, factional differences in the Congress or a teetering BJP in the area will hardly carve a dent in the Solanki’s vote bank.

“My father has worked for the people of this region and they are still reaping the benefits of his work,’’ said Bharatsinh Solanki.

With days to go for the Assembly elections in the state, Solanki has been campaigning extensively. “Apart from 2002, when the voters were polarised, Anand has remained with the Congress and will continue to do so,” he claimed.

Being associated with the Solankis does help to get political mileage in the region, admitted Amit Chavda, an MLA from the neighbouring Aklav constituency in Anand district.

“Yes, I do admit that being a part of the Solanki family is an advantage if you are contesting from the Anand district,’’ said Chavda. “The older generation is witness to the work of Madhavsinh Solanki and the youth are seeing Bharat’s dedication and the projects he got approved from the Centre in the last decade.”

Chavda said instituters like NDDB and IRMA were set up during Solanki’s regime. Though caste politics continue to play an important role, the people of the area acknowledge the Solankis’ contribution to welfare of the district. “We have seen the times of Madhavsinh, when real work would happen. His son too has followed his father’s footsteps. Why not vote for them? So what if they belong to a family?’’ questioned 75-year-old Madhav Chavda, an ardent admirer of Madhavsinh Solanki.

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