Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Friday named Isudan Gadhvi as party’s chief ministerial candidate in Gujarat for the upcoming Assembly elections. The candidate was selected on the basis of opinion submitted to the party by the people of the state. Those in the race for the top post from the AAP include its state unit president Gopal Italia, national general secretary Isudan Gadhvi and general secretary Manoj Soratihya.
However, last week, Kejriwal had urged people to contact the party through SMS, WhatsApp, voice mail and e-mail to give their views about who should be the CM candidate from the party in the state, adding further he said that people could submit their points of view till November 3 evening and on the basis of their opinions, the name of the party’s chief ministerial face would be announced the next day.
In a public poll, 40-year-old Gadhvi got 73% votes. He comes from a farmers’ family in Dwarka district’s Pipaliya village and is an OBC, which account for 48% of the state’s population.
Welcoming Gadhvi’s selection, Kejriwal said, “We don’t decide who will be the CM candidate while sitting in a room. Bhagwant Mann was chosen as CM not by the AAP but by Punjab’s public. At a time when it seems sure that the AAP will form the government, today we are not announcing the CM candidate of the AAP but announcing the CM for the next Gujarat government. Last week we invited public opinion, and 16,48,500 responses were received and 73% named Isudan Gadhvi.”
The Delhi CM’s address started with the bursting of crackers, followed by a moment of silence for the Morbi bridge collapse victims. After the announcement, Gadhvi embraced party colleagues Manoj Sorathiya and Yuvrajsinh Jadeja and sought the blessings of his mother.
HUGE RESPONSIBILITY, SAYS GADHVI
Wiping away tears, Gadhvi said a “humble farmer’s son like me has been given such a huge responsibility in Arvind Kejriwal’s politics”. He said, “I will try to do the best I can and will not rest till I have given it my all for Gujarat. God has given me everything. Now I want to give my fellow Gujaratis everything they need. I will serve the people until my last breath.”
Gadhvi said he never wanted to enter politics. “Arvind Kejriwal told me, you raise issues of the common man, people like you should join politics. If people like you and I don’t join politics, then the corrupt people will have a free run. Politics is not my desire but my compulsion.”
Gujarat will vote on December 1 and 5 and the results will be declared on December 8. Gadhvi said he would quit politics if there was no visible change in Gujarat. “Throw out AAP if there is no change in the condition of Gujarat’s farmers by next Diwali,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, AAP released its ninth list of candidates comprising the names of 10 candidates for the Gujarat elections. With the latest list, the party has declared the names of 118 candidates so far in the 182-member Gujarat Assembly.
The Election Commission of India announced on Thursday that the Gujarat elections will be held in two phases – December 1 and 5 – and counting of votes will be held on December 8.