ON CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Dressed in white, he battles saffron surge
Patel began his campaign at 8.30 am from Umang Park society on Sunday with an enthusiastic bunch of workers. Suddenly, Daxa Patel, a resident of Advaith Society, cuts across the traffic to shake hands with Patel. She says, “You are my brother and my family’s vote will go to you.”
The rally moves ahead. Raman Patel, 70, a resident of Haridwar Society shakes Patels hands and says ‘Jai Hind’. He tells him that he too belongs to Paliyad. That makes things easier and Patel tracks his family tree, trying to relate.
At Ranip’s Bakra mandi Abdul Sakur welcomes him and tells him to do something for the minority community as they have traditionally been Congress workers. A group of Rabaris led by Vitthal Rabari come forward
wearing Congress stickers on and put a red turban on Patel. He takes their assurance to vote for him. Through the campaign route he stops by at all shrines, chatting with people. Patel tells them, “I am a local candidate, a Gujarati, and have my offices every where in the constituency, if you want to approach me don’t hesitate,” obviously that is his pitch against the ‘outsider’ LK Advani of the BJP.
“We, the Congress have done enough for Ahmedabad,” he says, handing over a pamphlet giving details of the projects funded under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission. At 1.30 pm, he takes a break and has lunch as the rally rolls on again at 4 pm.
Wooing the Waghelas