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Hardik Patel detained before Ekta Rally

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Surat (Gujarat):   Surat Police detained Patidars’ leader Hardik Patel and at least 50 of his supporters before they could  launch an ‘Ekta Rally’ here on Saturday morning, officials said.

Capture5-420x300The rally, which the police claimed as ‘unauthorised’, was to press for the caste-based reservations for the Patel community spearheaded by Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).

PAAS convenor Hardik Patel, 22, and at least 50 others were detained at Mangad Chowk and whisked off in waiting police vans to the police headquarters.

Undeterred by the detentions, the Patels defied the police and took out another rally from Hirabagh locality from where PAAS co-convenor Nikhil Patel was also detained.

Shortly after the detention, Hardik Patel said police were harassing them as they wanted to take out a peaceful rally, and accused the Gujarat government of “harassing everybody”.

“The Gujarat government is provoking violence though ours is a peaceful agitation. We request the people of the state for support. We are not against any community, but just fighting to get reservations for our community,” Patel said.

PAAS termed the detentions as “illegal and bulldozing of democracy by the Gujarat government” which was acting at the centre’s behest.

Saturday’s ‘Ekta Rally’ was thrown a challenge by the opposing OBC Ekta Manch, which threatened to take out a ‘Pratikar Rally’ protesting against the reservations sought by the Patidars.

However, the city administration declined permission to OBC Ekta Manch to hold its rally.

Gujarat went into a state of high alert following the PAAS officials’ detentions.

With inputs from IANS

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Gujarat Elections: The Fight to the Finish between Congress and BJP

The counting of votes for the Gujarat elections will begin on December 18 at 8.00 AM

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The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Women on their way to the polling booths in Gujarat on December 9, VOA News

 

  • The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress into a close contest over the seats.
  • The exit polls predict a victory for BJP.
  • The counting of votes will begin at 8.00 A.M. on Monday, December 18.

The Gujarat elections, which were carried out in two phases on December 9 and December 14, will finally come to its culmination on Monday, December 18, as the counting of votes will commence from 8.00 A.M. The Gujarat polls, over which seasoned BJP politicians such as Narendra Modi and Amit Shah  have locked horns with the newly appointed president of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, have been subjected to numerous speculations and predictions, ever since the two political parties have launched themselves into relentless campaigning for the various constituencies.

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Rahul Gandhi kissing his mother after being elected as the President of Congress on December 16, 2017, VOA News

Congress vs. BJP: Who will Win the Gujarat Elections

The campaign for the Gujarat assembly elections has been a vehement one for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has extensively referred to the growth index and other statistical details while enumerating the virtues of the BJP government. His developmental policies, such as the Ujjwala Yojana through which free LPG gas facilities were provide to households below the Poverty Line, have made him immensely popular among the women of Gujarat. Modi’s appeal as the ‘son of the soil’ has earned him support in the urban and commercial hubs of Gujarat, in spite of the brewing discontent over demonetisation and the imposition of GST. The BJP has also succeeded in securing the support of the tribal people of Gujarat, who were previously considered as a stronghold of the Congress.
However, with the trio of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani, Rahul Gandhi seems to have infused young blood into the Gujarat elections, and has thereby attracted a significant number of young voters. Hardik Patel, with his political acumen has become a potential threat for the BJP, as multiple scandalous tapes of him as well as his aides have not decreased his popularity. In North, Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch, people seem to be disappointed with the BJP government, since the much-applauded ‘Gujarat Model’ has failed to solve basic issues in their lives, such as shortage of water.

 

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the voters at Kalol, in the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 8, 2017, VOA News

Gujarat Elections: The Exit Polls

The Gujarat Polls of 2017 have often been hailed as one of the closest competitions faced by the BJP government during its 22 year long tenure as speculations are rife regarding who will win the Gujarat elections. However, in spite of the unyielding campaign by the Congress and Rahul Gandhi, the speculations hint towards another victory for the BJP in the state. An aggregate of nine exit polls in Gujarat show that the BJP is expected to secure 162 seats, while 65 seats may be secured by the Congress.