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BJP President Amit Shah arrives in Gujarat ahead of local body polls

BJP president Amit Shah, who was campaigning in Bihar for the ongoing assembly polls, has arrived in Gujarat ahead of the upcoming local body elections slated to be held on November 22 and 29.

“Shah, who represents Naranpura Assembly seat here, landed in the state yesterday and visited Somnath temple before coming to Ahmedabad,” state BJP media convener Harshad Patel said.

Shah’s presence assumes significance, as the Gujarat BJP parliamentary board has announced the final list of its candidates to be fielded for the election on Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), to be held on November 22 along with five other municipal corporations in the state.

Several local BJP leaders and corporators turned up at Shah’s residence here to meet him. However, local leaders maintained that the visit by Shah was not “pre-planned”.

“Amit Shah came here on a personal visit only. Local body polls have to do nothing with it. But, since he is in the town, it is natural that our partymen would meet him as elections are approaching,” BJP media convener for city Hemant Bhatt said.

BJP MLA from the city’s Ellisbridge seat Rakesh Shah, who is considered very close to the BJP chief, was among the prominent leaders who met him. After the meeting, the MLA said that some of the BJP workers are not happy with the ticket allocation.

“Some of our workers have expressed dissatisfaction about the ticket allocation. But, this is not a big issue. I have taken representations of our workers and conveyed it to our leaders,” Rakesh Shah said.

Besides the BJP leaders, Congress leader Seabird Kabliwala, also met Shah. Kabliwala is a former MLA of Congress from Jamalpur-Khadia seat here. He was an MLA between 2007 to 2012. However, when Congress refused to repeat him in 2012 Assembly elections, he stood as independent, and lost to BJP candidate Bhushan Bhatt. Recently, he has once again joined Congress.

According to sources, Kabliwala is not happy with Congress, as he feels that some of his supporters are ignored by the party for corporation poll tickets. However, after meeting Shah, Kabliwala claimed that it was just a “courtesy visit”.

“There is no particular reason behind meeting Shah. Election has nothing to do with it. Since I knew him since so many years, I just came here to meet him. It was just a courtesy visit,” he claimed.

Voting for six municipal corporations– Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar– will take place on November 22, while polling on 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities will take place on November 29.