Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday urged BJP activists to remain united as she continued her campaign for the 323 local body polls.Her remarks follow a four-month agitation by the Patel community demanding reservations in jobs and educational institutions. Its leaders have urged the Patels to vote against the Bharatiya Janata Party.Anandiben Patel began her campaign on Monday evening from the Patel-dominated Bapunagar and Ghatlodia municipal wards in Ahmedabad. While Bapunagar was a nerve centre of the Patel agitation, Ghatlodia falls under her own assembly constitutency by the same name. Her next destinations were the ruling party's pocketboroughs of Khadia and Sabarmati.
Official sources said her next fixtures outside Ahmedabad were being worked out.
She met several party workers and leaders on Tuesday and assured them that the BJP would return to power in the local bodies."In the last 15 years, the development achieved in Gujarat during Narendrabhai's time is there for all to see," she said, referring to her predecessor and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi."We have been able to eliminate caste or community bias and ensured that the state develops as one composite whole." The chief minister maintains that the Patel agitation posed no threat to the BJP in the municipal elections.
Officially, the party stated that the Bihar poll debacle would have no impact in Gujarat.Government spokesman Nitin Patel said: "We are trying to ensure the Patel agitation has no adverse effects on the local body polls." Gujarat will see elections to six city municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar, all of which are controlled by the BJP, on November 22.Elections to 317 municipalities, taluka (tehsil) panchayats and district panchayats will be held on November 29.