With royalty, tea vendor in tow, Modi files papers

With royalty, tea vendor in tow, Modi files papers

With royalty, tea vendor in tow, Modi files papers

 On the day BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi filed his nomination, he also took the opportunity to send out a loud and clear message of ‘social engineering’ to the nation.

Flanked by Vadodara’s Rajmata Shubhanginiraje Gaekwad and a tea vendor, Modi could not have chosen a better contrast. The BJP leader, who on Wednesday filed his nomination papers from Vadodara — one of the two Lok Sabha seats from where he will be contesting the forthcoming polls, had an interesting mix of proposers in order to give out a politically loaded gesture of taking everyone along.

Prior to filing his nomination, Modi and his party members, demonstrated a show of strength by organising a rally covering landmark areas on a three-km stretch. This was the first of its kind road show by the party’s prime ministerial candidate in the city.

After completing the nomination formalities, an elated Modi said, “Vadodara has been my karambhoomi, and just some distance away from the Collectorate is the Sangh office where I used to work. I am happy that I have been provided another opportunity to serve the people of this city.’’ He also went on to praise Sayajirao Gaekwad, and said that his vision and administrative skills inspired him to lead the state.

Vadodara has been a BJP stronghold, so by choosing this constituency for Modi, the party wants to ensure political gains even in the adjoining constituencies of Anand, Kheda and Dahod, which are presently held by the Congress.

The Congress has its work cut out with Modi contesting from the city. Of the seven Assembly segments in the constituency, six are held by the BJP and one was with the Congress. Now the Congress MLA has switched over to the BJP. BJP’s former Lok Sabha MP Balu Shukla, who vacated the seat for Modi, had won the 2009 elections by a margin of over 1.5 lakh.

Despite fighting what many term is a losing battle for the Congress, the party decided to downplay the road show by Modi. Congress candidate Madhusudan Mistry said, “By organising such events with fake pomp, he wants to show off that he is  bigger than the party.”

Modi’s presence in this constituency might be minimal now and he may not hold a similar rally in Vadodara before the poll date. However, the road show has definitely galvanised his party cadre here and they have pledged to ensure he gets the highest victory margin.