Jagruti Pandya, wife of the late BJP leader Haren Pandya whose move to contest the elections as a candidate of the Keshubhai Patel led Gujarat Parivartan Party led to heightened public interest is back in the news as the BJP led Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation began removing standalone posters of the late Haren Pandya from various parts of Ahmedabad.
Jagruti Pandya,the wife of the late BJP minister who was shot dead in 2003 is contesting from Ellisbridge constituency in Ahmedabad. She is locked in a triangular battle with Rakesh Shah of the BJP and Kamlesh Shah of the Congress.
Jagruti said that posters of her husband put up by sympathizers were being marked out for special attention and pulled down since late last night. "Today morning while returning from campaigning I noticed some commotion and stopped only to find people surrounding a municipal corporation van that was pulling down his posters. The people of the area took strong exception to it and the van was forced to leave. I have been receiving reports that BJP workers were being marshalled for the job,” she said.
Jagruti termed the move as an indicator of the vindictive mindset of the BJP. They are afraid of losing the seat and resorting to such tactics,” she said, pointing out that her late husband had given his life for the welfare of his constituency and his state. "And I am determined to follow in his footsteps," she concluded.
Ahmedabad mayor Asit Vora, however, sought to play down the issue saying that the steps being initiated were in keeping with the guidelines set by the model code of conduct. "Permission is required for putting up posters,” he said.
Pandya, a popular legislator who had nursed his constituency was a former minister in the Patel and Modi governments. He was killed in 2003.His untimely death fuelled considerable speculation more so because of his very public fallout with chief minister Modi after he refused to vacate his Ellisbridge seat to enable Modi to get elected within the mandatory six month period after taking over as chief minister. His father,late Vithal Pandya provided further fodder when he openly alleged Modi’s hand in his son’s death.