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|Gujarat Polls:Kalsaria fighting a four-cornered battle under 'Sadbhavna Manch'|
Rebel BJP MLA from Mahuva in Bhavnagar district and a practising surgeon Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria is fighting a four-cornered battle under the banner of ' Sadbhavna Manch in the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections.
At the height of his agitation against the cement plant,Kanubhai had led a 'padyatra' in which thousands of people had walked from Mahuva to the state capital Gandhinagar in March,2011. In this yatra, not only the supporters of Kanubhai but activists and supporters of BJP's Bharatiya Kisan Sangh (BKS), Congress, NGOs working for environment, farmers, salt workers,fishing community too had joined overwhelmingly.
"There are examples in the state like Mahagujarat and JP movements where leaders have gained in electoral battle following a mass movement. So, I am hopeful for Kalsaria,"said another veteran political observer Prakash Shah.
"I don't think we will have to worry about four-cornered contest. On the contrary, it will be a friendly fight between GPP, Congress and our Manch and that will take major BJP vote share away from it," said Kalsaria.
He is also confident on changing his constituency this time. "Villages which were affected by proposed and now cancelled Nirma cement plant are equally distributed in Mahuva and Gariydhar Talukas".
To bring his point home, he is citing his successful 'testing' of his movement's political acceptability. During the anti-cement plant agitation, Kanubhai and his team under the 'Sadbhavna Manch' won 9 seats out of 27 it had contested in Mahuva Taluka Panchayat and had won 2 seats out of 8 it contested in the Bhavnagar District Panchayat.
"Kalsaria in Mahuva region is like Keshubapa (former CM and GPP leader Keshubhai Patel) as villagers in this area are either fascinated by him or have respect for him. But only time will tell if they are his voters or not," said one BJP city office-bearer in Gariyadhar.
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