Out of jail, Narendra Modi's man Amit Shah lords over Naranpura

Amit Shah

Shah was Minister of State for Home when these alleged fake encounters took place and the police officials accused in the case reported directly to him.

Shah, who was granted bail in October 2010 by the Gujarat High Court but was forced out of the state by a Supreme Court order, has now brought out a booklet that proclaims his innocence and presents him as a victim of Congress and CBI. "With malicious political intent, Congress misused CBI to falsely implicate Amit Shah in Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. Sohrabuddin was a terrorist from whose house AK 47, 150 hand grenades, one lakh cartridges and explosives were seized," claims the booklet.

"The Centre falsely implicated him and sent him to jail. He was kept away from Gujarat and his family for two years but who can defeat the truth?" it reads.

"This time we have to ensure that Amit Bhai wins with the largest margin in entire Gujarat.

He takes care of his constituency and party workers", he says.

In Naranpura, the politically and numerically influential Patels and Banias, the traditional votebank of BJP in Gujarat, together constitute over 60 per cent of the electorate.

Former Chief Minister and Modi-baiter Keshubhai Patel's Gujarat Parivartan Party, which is expected to pose a challenge to the incumbent Chief Minister in Kutch-Saurashtra belt of the state, is unlikely to make a dent in BJP's vote bank in Naranpura. "Keshubhai is a Leuva Patel, while Ahmedabad and particularly Naranpura, is dominated by Kadva Patels.

Jeetubhai (a Kadva Patel) will find it hard to even get polling agents for every booth.

Such is the sentiment of the voters here," says Hemang.

Hemang Bhai is not wide off the mark as Jeetu Bhai Patel's campaign headquarters, right in the premises of 'Manasi Hospital' in Wadaj which he owns, has huge stacks of plastic chairs but hardly any Congress worker.

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