Vote for Modi, irrespective of local BJP candidate: CR Paatil

Addressing an election gathering in Visnagar of Mehsana district, on Monday, Paatil referred to Modi’s roots in the region and said that when it comes to give benefits, Modi has never forgotten Gujarat and certainly not North Gujarat.

Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil on Monday appealed to the people to vote considering Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whether they like the party candidate or not.

Addressing an election gathering in Visnagar of Mehsana district, on Monday, Paatil referred to Modi’s roots in the region and said that when it comes to give benefits, Modi has never forgotten Gujarat and certainly not North Gujarat.

“It is my humble request to all of you. There should not be any mistake. There should not be any laziness. Erase any like or dislike (for any party candidate). Whether you like a candidate or not, consider Narendra Modi. Votes have to be given by considering him (Modi),” Paatil said.

He then added, “I am assuring you, we will not spare a candidate if he/she makes any mistake after getting elected. We will not give him/her a chance to make a mistake. We will not pardon his/her mistake.”

Visnagar is a town in Mehsana district, considered a BJP bastion, from where the 2015 Patidar reservation agitation came into limelight. In July 2015, a rally led by leaders of the agitation, including Hardik Patel, had turned violent in which the office of the local BJP MLA Rushikesh Patel’s office was torched.

The agitation damaged BJP’s core vote bank, Patidar community, so much that the party could not win either Mehsana district panchayat or Mehsana municipality in 2015. In another reference to Modi — a native of Vadnagar in Mehsana, Paatil said, “Modi Saheb has not forgotten Gujarat. And he has certainly not forgotten North Gujarat.”

Paatil said that the people of North Gujarat were fortunate to have leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel. Paatil also said that in the ticket distribution for Surat Municipal Corporation, BJP has given seven persons having roots in North Gujarat — four Patidars and one each from Rabari, Ahir and Bharwad communities.

Referring to the representation given to North Gujarat in party organization, Paatil said that a senior bureaucrat Mahendra Patel, from Unjha, has been made vice-president in the party. Mahendra, a former IAS officer, was a collector of Surat district.

Paatil said, “I told him (Mahendra) that I am making a team of organisation and I need people like you who are eager to do something for the people. He (Mahendra) told me that he would resign immediately. And after resigning, he joined BJP as a worker… We have given him the responsibility in the party as vice president.”

In his speech, Paatil also referred to BJP’s achievements like construction of Ram Temple, abrogation of article 370 from Jammu & Kashmir and construction of Statue of Unity in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

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