Kalsaria outfit sets stage for four-cornered fight in 5 seats
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With rebel BJP MLA from Mahuva Dr Kanu Kalsaria set to field candidates under the banner of his Sadbhavna Manch in five Assembly constituencies, the coastal belt of Bhavnagar and Amreli is likely to see a four-cornered contest in the Assembly elections due in December.
While Congress had supported Kalsaria-led agitation by farmers against the now-cancelled Nirma Cement plant project, the Opposition party finds itself contesting not only against the BJP but also Sadbhavna Manch.
Besides, the entry of Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party has further complicated equations. Early this year, Kalsaria had supported Patel's anti-Modi campaign. GPP general secretary Gordhan Zadaphia, as the president of now dissolved MahaGujarat Janta Party, had also backed conventions of farmers led by Kalsaria.
Kalsaria yesterday said he would field candidates for the five seats of Mahuva, Gariyadhar, Savarkundla, Rajula and Talaja. Finding right candidates for these five seats is proving difficult for all the four parties in the fray.
For BJP, the challenge is to retain Mahuva by besting its own two-term MLA Kalsaria, who is hugely popular there and the surrounding areas.
Though Mahuva Taluka Panchayat is ruled by Sadbhavna Manch and Congress in alliance, there is little possibility of Congress joining hands with the outfit for the Assembly elections. If it does not, the two parties will find themselves pitted against each other in five seats.
"So far, there has been been no decision on alliances," said Kalsaria.
However, according to sources, GPP may enter into some agreement with Kalsaria's outfit at least in Gariyadhar (Amreli) seat, from where Zadaphia is very likely to contest since the taluka comes under his home district of Bhavnagar.
Rajula in Amreli district, a BJP bastion, is a Koli community-dominated seat that has been held by Hira Solanki, brother of Fisheries Minister Purshottam Solanki, for two terms now. But the agitation against Nirma plant has made Kalsaria, an Ahir, popular among Koli farmers in this coastal belt.