'Godmother' Santokben's son in Gujarat election fray

The guns have fallen silent and the “aura” of “Godmother” faded out, but her legacy continues. In the land of the Mahatma, the spectre of Santokben Jadeja still looms.

This is the first assembly elections with “Godmother Santokben” not around after she passed away last year. But attempt to take what is being called her legacy on, her son Kandhal Jadeja is contesting as a Nationalist Congress Party candidate from the Kutiyana constituency adjacent to Porbandar. The son with several pending criminal cases, says he  is missing her the most and is using her name in his campaign trail.

A Bollywood film,  “Godmother,” starring Shabana Azmi was featured on Santokben.
Kandhal is also cashing in on the name of his parents and their work. Jadeja though claims to have the support of all the castes in this constituency, for the record he puts it straight that he is the son of Santokben for all those who do not affiliate.

Though Kandal has been let off by the police, he has been accused of arms haul, threat and even murder. Living up to the traditions of his family, Kandal once in a while does not mind flashing his past and the contributions of the family in this area. “The people of this area are aware the work that has been done by my parents, a school meant only for girls running in the name of my parents has at least 2,500 girls studying from all communities,’’ Kandal said.
His opponents, however, do not agree with him. BJP candidate Karsan Odedara has been winning from this constituency for the last three terms. 

But Kandal thinks that no development has taken place  in the last 15 years and hence reminding of Santokben, who had won the election for one term, he  is convinced that he can pull it off.

Odedara is confident of making it for the fourth term. “The people of this constituency or even surrounding areas do not want any criminal candidate as their representative,’’ he said.

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