BJP’s Alpesh Thakor on Nomination, Rahul’s Campaign

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Prominent OBC leader and BJP’s Gandhinagar candidate Alpesh Thakor, who launched the OBC, SC, ST Ekta Manch before the 2017 assembly election, will file his nomination on Thursday, and will be accompanied by chief minister Bhupendra Patel.

A relatively safe seat for the BJP, Gandhinagar South, with a significant Thakor population, will now witness a three-pronged fight as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has fielded a candidate.

Thakor, whose election campaign is one of the keenly watched contests in Gandhinagar district, believes that “the meaning of politics is that the people for whom I was raising issues should be taken care of, and the BJP is doing exactly that”. He said he believes the BJP is working to bring the backward castes and sections into the mainstream.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be campaigning in Gujarat while taking a break from his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. Thakor, who began his political stint with the Congress, said Gandhi’s campaigning in Gujarat will not matter.

When asked whether Gandhi’s campaign may improve Congress’ chances in the polls, Thakor remained unimpressed. “He may come but Gujarat’s Congress is splintered. The state Congress’ leaders have destroyed the party. It is surviving because of its traditional voters. The leaders come out only during elections. The BJP, however, starts working for new challenge the next day of the election. Our contest is with the Congress, AAP is nowhere. Gujaratis are smart people. They do not fall for just anyone,” said Thakor who believes his Gandhinagar seat does not have any major developmental issue as the BJP has worked hard in the area.

“It is not a seat with issues. This is the seat that has Infocity, gift city and metro, and there is so much development here. But I will ensure that there will be start-ups, education, will get ponds developed, there will be a digital library in every village and anti-social elements won’t trouble even a single voter,” promises the BJP candidate.

A day before the nomination, Thakor made rounds to the BJP office ‘Kamalam’ and met the state leaders to discuss arrangements for the nomination filing among other things.

When asked why did he not contest from Radhanpur this time, a seat which he had won when he first contested in 2017 but then lost in the by-poll in 2019 as a BJP candidate, he replies, “Ahmedabad is my home”.

Thakor told News18, “In Radhanpur, I had worked so much. People of Radhanpur have realised their mistake and they would want to amend it. My place is Ahmedabad yet I fought on a seat which was 200 km away from my home. I got so much love from them. I was winning from Radhanpur again but leaders decided that I should fight from here.”

The BJP leader says there is no competition this election as the BJP’s challenge is with itself — to do something new and better.

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