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Gujarat Cong Candidate Goes Crowdfunding To Fund Her Poll Expenses

| Updated: April 15, 2024 14:36

Congress candidate from Gujarat’s Banaskantha Lok Sabha seat, Geniben Nagaji Thakor, has been seeking monetary support from people in the constituency to fund her poll campaign expenses.

Thakor, the sitting Congress MLA from Vav in Banaskantha district, claimed she has received an overwhelming response for crowdfunding her election campaign, including her vehicle fuel expenses and arrangements for public meetings.

In the last 40 days, since she launched her campaign, people have come forward in large numbers to donate whatever they can for her poll expenses, which could go up to Rs 50 lakh, she said in a rally.

A graduate from Jain Vishva Bharati in Ladnun (Rajasthan), Thakor is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rekha Chaudhary, an engineering college professor, who is contesting the election for the first time.

Elections to all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held in a single phase on May 7.

“I would like to thank the people of Banaskantha. In the last one month and ten days, people from all communities across 14 talukas in the district have taken it upon themselves to bear the cost of all kind of works such as setting up pavilions for the public meetings, food and beverages,” Thakor said at a gathering.

The cost of diesel required for her vehicle is also being borne by the people of Banaskantha, the 48-year-old said.

Notably, the Congress in December last year launched the party’s “Donate for Desh” crowdfunding campaign, asking people to join the fight against unemployment and rising costs.

Thakor has also made the upcoming Lok Sabha poll an issue of prestige for members of the Thakor community to which she belongs.

“If I do not win the election this time, I may not get another chance. I have got the ticket for the Lok Sabha to empower the community,” she said.

In the 2012 state assembly polls, BJP heavyweight Shankar Chaudhary defeated Geniben Thakor in Vav seat by a margin of around 12,000 votes.

In the 2017 assembly elections, Thakor defeated Chaudhary.

She won her second election in 2022, defeating BJP’s Swarupji Thakor.

Geniben Thakor had supported a diktat issued by elders of her community from 12 villages in Banaskantha district in 2019, banning inter-caste marriages and unmarried young women from carrying mobile phones.

In 2020, she said “rapists must be burnt alive rather than being handed over to the police”, after the alleged rape of a 14-month-old girl in Gujarat.

The BJP has won the Banaskantha seat for the last three consecutive terms, including a by-election held in 2013, and also in 1998 and 1999.

The Congress emerged victorious in the seat in 1996, 2004 and 2009.

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