One of the senior-most Parliamentarians of Gujarat Congress, Union minister Dinsha Patel will be representing the Kheda constituency for the sixth time if elected. A prominent leader of the influential Patel community, Dinsha, in his 80s, is confident that the people of Nadiad and Kheda would vote for him and elect him.
On his campaign trail, Patel spoke to Swati Bhan on some of the issues he raises. Excerpts:
Will the performance of UPA II affect your electoral prospects?
No. There has been an absolute misinformation campaign in the country. When we go to address small gatherings, people do realise the work done by the government and the advantages they have had during the UPA II regime.
Will the issue of a probable Gujarati prime minister affect the prospects of the Gujarat Congress?
Voters are aware of what is best for them. They will not get trapped by this misinformation campaign. They know whom they should vote for. And I am confident that this time too we will retain power.
The BJP has decided to field the same candidate you had defeated by a very thin margin of 900 votes. does that work heavily on the minds of voters?
That was the first election after delimitation, so newer areas were inducted, but this time people are aware of the work done, and that will work in my favour and in favour of the Congress.
Central Gujarat has been a Congress bastion, but the party has been gradually losing ground here. Amidst all this, how do you see a victory for yourself?
People who are attached to our party belong to the grassroots. They have been voting for us and will continue to vote for us. So when the base is strong, one need not worry about the results.