Ex-babu confident of a seat in House

R M Patel

R M Patel banks on 'BJP loyalists' to win Asarwa, a party stronghold since 1990

As he walks door-to-door with folded hands, meeting denizens, councillors and presidents of housing societies in Asarwa assembly constituency, retired IAS officer and BJP candidate R M Patel brims with confidence. However, whether it is confidence of a sure shot victory or lack of political experience can be debated as Patel does not ask for votes in his entire campaign as he meets and greets electors.

The 59-year-old bureaucrat who took voluntary retirement to join the BJP this October says, "In this constituency, the BJP has a history of receiving 95 per cent vote share, which clearly shows the percentage of BJP loyalists. I am here just to make sure that voters see the face of their BJP candidate. People have been asking me why am I going on campaigns when I am already elected."

"One phase of my life, as a bureaucrat, has just finished and a new phase, of a politician, is about to start," says Patel, who moves around the lanes and bylanes of his constituency with a smile and a victory sign.

Patel's wife Hansa and a group of relatives, including his daughter's in-laws who have come to support him from Himmatnagar, can been seen accompanying him during his campaign.

"During my 35-year-long career, I worked for 25 years in social sector including health, housing, labour and employment departments," he says trying to impress upon the work he has done in the state's social sector.

Patel, who has the credit of organising over 1,000 Garib Kalyan Melas in last three years on behalf of the state government, is said to be very close to Chief Minister Narendra Modi. A 1977-batch IAS officer, he retired as additional chief secretary (panchayats and tribal affairs).

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