Former Minister of State for Home Affairs late Haren Pandya’s wife Jagrutiben Pandya has written to BJP demanding strict action against Ellisbridge MLA Rakesh Shah. Shah compared Pandya’s vote share with his current vote share.
In the letter to the BJP state president CR Patil and party in-charge city president Paresh Lakhani, Jagruti Pandya demanded the withdrawal of the statement, calling it an “unwarranted, political statement made out of jealousy, which seeks to gloss over the unfortunate incident (of her husband’s murder)”.
Shah said that during Pandya’s time, BJP was getting 66 percent votes in Ellisbridge while during his time the vote share reached 80 percent. According to Election Commission figures, in 1995 Pandya got 71.44 percent of the votes, while in 1998 he got 77.43 percent.
“My husband was among the committed workers who laid the foundations of the BJP in Ellisbridge and I am shocked how Rakeshbhai is even commenting on his popularity. Who is he to judge that?” said Jagrutiben in her letter. “My husband became a victim of an unfortunate incident, which has hurt me, the people of Ellisbridge and the whole of Gujarat… Rakesh Shah, with his unwarranted, political statement made out of jealousy, tries to add to the wound of that incident,” she said.
Shah said in response to the criticism that he never compared his and Pandya’s respective vote shares. He said that he only said that BJP’s vote share has increased continuously. It is worth mentioning that BJP has not given a ticket to Shah from Ellisbridge in this election.
Pandya was shot dead on March 26, 2003, on his morning walk in the Law Garden area of Ahmedabad. The case was investigated by the CBI, which concluded that Pandya was killed to avenge the Godhra massacre.