AHMEDABAD: Since 1989, the BJP has lost the RajkotLok Sabhaseat only once, in 2009, when Kunvarji Bavalia, the then Congressman Koli leader fromJasdan, won by 24,000 votes. In 2014, when the Modi wave swept the country, the BJP won by a massive 2.46 lakh votes.
Last year, Bavalia quit the Congress and was immediately rewarded with a ministerial berth in Vijay Rupani government.
Now, a chorus is building among BJP workers to have Prime Minister Narendra Modi contest of Rajkot. After Modi became chief minister in 2002, he won his first-ever election from Rajkot.
A team comprising Narhari Amin, Babu Jebalia and Jaya Thakkar were in Rajkot on Thursday as part of the conventional stock-taking exercise. After deliberations with party workers and local leaders, the team was given to understand that Rajkot could be the best bet for Modi.
Speaking to TOI, Amin said, “I personally feel that the PM should contest from Rajkot. Not only it is a prestigious seat but also the fact that Modi is contesting from here will have a positive effect on the party in all of Saurashtra. If he decides to contest from a seat inGujarat, Rajkot would be the best choice.”
According to sources, the three-member team met a large number of workers from all seven assembly segments, but couldn’t come up with a common name for the Rajkot seat. The feeling was that if Modi decides to contest from here, there is no point suggesting the names of others.
Rajkot as a city has seen considerable development in terms of infrastructure and more importantly water security. Narmada waters have reached the Nyari dam. Officials said the city will never run out of water now as Nyari-1 and Aji-1 dams have been connected through an express feeder pipeline. This means if one of the dams runs dry, it can be filled with water from the other.
The Rajkot parliamentary seat comprises of seven assembly constituencies, Rajkot (west), Rajkot (east), Rajkot (south), Rajkot (rural), Jasdan, Tankara and Wankaner. Three constituencies — Jasdan, Tankara andWankaner— were won by the Congress in the 2017 assembly election. Moreover, Rajkot is the home town of chief minister Vijay Rupani., who has given special attention to the city in terms of development projects.