The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago | 17-01-2023 | 10:45 pm
Isudan Gadhvi formally took over as the new president of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s Gujarat unit at the party headquarters in Ahmedabad Monday.In his first interview after taking charge, Gadhvi, who was the AAP’s chief ministerial candidate in the recent Gujarat Assembly polls in which the party won just 5 of the total 182 seats, speaks to The Indian Express about a range of issues including the AAP’s shortcomings, its future road map and the coming elections.What were the AAP’s shortcomings you noted while campaigning for the Gujarat Assembly polls, especially in your seat Khambhaliya that you lost?The atmosphere was good. But there were one or two drawbacks in our organisation at the booth level, for which we did not get time (to fix). We got people, but there was a problem in execution. Secondly, we have performed really well: Historically, no third front in Gujarat has got five seats and 41 lakhs votes. But we had little time… and people were confused till the end as to whether AAP will be able to form the government or not… And this has been the history of the AAP. Even in Delhi, in the first election, people were not sure, so the AAP government was not formed, it had to form a coalition. But second time, it was one-sided (AAP formed the government with full majority). In Punjab too (a similar thing happened in the second time), although it was predicted in the first election that the party would get 100 seats, which did not happen… Now people in Gujarat are thinking that if they (AAP) are taking these many seats (five), then we could have voted for them.So what you are saying is that people were confused till the last moment in the Gujarat polls, which is why they voted for the BJP for its thumping victory?Yes, in the surveys that we conducted, it came out that AAP and BJP will get 36% and 37% of vote share respectively. But, the 15-20% of the vote share that we were getting went to the BJP at the last moment. Secondly, people did not trust the Congress, so at the last moment, those 15-20% who were confused, they voted for the BJP.Do you see the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as a stepping stone for the 2027 Gujarat Assembly polls? Or is the party focused on the Lok Sabha polls in a bid to emerge at the national level?Every election is a challenge for us. Municipality, taluka, zilla (district) panchayat, municipal corporation elections are coming… For 2024, the new strategy is the organisation that we are forming now – we will form vote samitis and samitis at the booth, village and city levels. When there will be six months left for the Lok Sabha polls, we will appoint in-charge in each of the state’s 26 Lok Sabha constituencies. We will try to look for good candidates, who will be connected to the booth level. And the few seats where we can win, we will focus there. In the municipal corporation elections due in 2025, we will win a majority of them. People now know the Congress is not in the picture anymore. So, I think we will perform well in 2024, (but) our main target is 2027.What is the Gujarat AAP’s target for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls?We will be fielding our candidates in all the 26 parliamentary seats. Our focus will be on contesting the 2024 elections with all our strength – till then (the existing) organisational structure will work fine. However, by 2027 polls, our organisation will be fully-formed. Our target is (to win) 2027.What about the AAP’s candidates in the state polls, who withdrew from the fray at the last moment, such as Abdasa and Surat East candidates?Or the buzz about the five party MLAs defecting to the BJP soon after they were elected?The people who come into politics, come with some ambition. Lekin 2025 se mahaul bannana shuru ho jayega, ab toh 2027 mein AAP ke alawa koi hai hi nahi. Toh koi jane ka sawal hi paida nahi hota hai. (But by 2025, an atmosphere will build up in AAP’s favour. By 2027, there would not be any Opposition other than AAP. So, the question of anyone leaving the party would not arise). Secondly, we have time to build the organisation, to find the candidates… So I feel we will manage it well.Did you come across any other issues while campaigning, apart from your manifesto pledges like free electricity, good education, free medical treatment etc, that your party missed flagging for voters. Could they have been more Gujarat specific?Yes, we are assessing that, we will do it by 2025. We are here to serve the people, so we have to give them facilities. We tell them that this is what we are here to give, if you like, take it, otherwise BJP is there. Hum logon ko dara kar dhamka kar vote lena nahi chahate hain. Nahi chahiye aisi sarkar. Hum sarkar lenge, muddon se lenge. Lekin ye baat sahi hai ki janta ko ye appeal honi chahiye ki hum aapke saath hain, sabke saath hain. Hum aapke hain…Wo appeal zaroor jayegi. (We do not want to garner votes by pressuring or scaring people. We do not want such a government. We will form government on the basis of issues. But yes, people should feel that we are with them. That appeal will go to them).
MUMBAI: Polling for five MLC seats for the teachers (Nagpur, Aurangabad and Konkan) and graduates (Nashik and Amravati) constituencies, marked by a controversy over the suspension of a father-son duo from the Congress for anti-party activities and utter confusion over selection of official nominees by political parties, took place on Monday.Though there are several candidates in the fray, it appears that there will be a straight contest between the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and the BJP candidates. Counting will be held on February 2.The polling percentage in Nashik was 49.3; in Amravati it was 49.7, in Aurangabad 86, in Nagpur 86.2 and in Konkan it was 91 (figures rounded off).Such elections are barely controversial. But high drama was witnessed over the Nashik division graduates seat after Congress nominee Sudhir Tambe failed to submit his nomination form before the deadline and his son Satyajeet filed his instead as an independent canddiate.Sudhir Tambe is the brother-in-law of Congress legislature party leader and former revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat. The Congress high command had approved Sudhir Tambe's nomination, while he was keen on his son Satyajeet, a former state youth Congress president, getting nominated.According to former chief minister Ashok Chavan, the AICC had given Sudhir Tambe a blank authorization form so that either he or his son could file the nomination. On the last day of filing nominations, both the father and son reached the election office, but Satyajeet Tambe filed papers. MPCC president Nana Patole reacted sharply, alleging the Tambe family had ditched the Congress. According to reports, Satyajeet Tambe was vying for the BJP's support, but it did not take any decision.On the other hand, BJP activist Shubhangi Patil too was vying for the BJP's nomination, and when she failed to get it, she approached Uddhav Thackeray for the MVA's support. After several rounds of talks, the MVA alliance supported the candidature of Patil. As a result, Nashik will witness a straight between the BJP and the Congress rebel.Satyajeet' Tambe's presence in the fray is being viewed as a major embarrassment for Thorat. Patole claimed that the MVA nominees will win all five seats. "Teachers and graduates in these constituencies are with the MVA," he said. Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar and deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had toured extensively to campaign for the MVA and BJP nominees respectively for these five council constituencies.
The minister's comment had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on him. (File)Pune: Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chitra Wagh has compared Maharashtra cabinet minister and her senior party colleague Chandrakant Patil with social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule.Wagh, who heads the state BJP women's wing, made the comments on Sunday at a programme organised here by local party leader Hemant Rasne which was also attended by Patil."We can see Savitribai (wife of Phule and pioneer of women's education in Maharashtra in the 19th century) in households, but a search is on for a Jyotiba (Phule) like Chandrakant Patil and BJP leader Hemant Rasne," she said.Notably, state Higher and Technical Education Minister Patil, who is an MLA from Pune, had kicked up a row by commenting that B R Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule did not seek government grants for running educational institutions, but they “begged” people to gather funds for starting schools and colleges.The use of the word “begged” had stirred up a controversy, resulting in an ink attack on Patil.Meanwhile, Wagh, who had filed a complaint against social media influencer Uorfi Javed for dressing "improperly" in public, said the latter should be praised as she has started wearing full clothes.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"I never had any problem with that woman or with any religion. I had a problem with abnormality but now I think we should praise her because she is seen in full clothes now. I have received multiple photographs of her and I can see she's wearing good clothes," Wagh said responding to a query from reporters.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayShah Rukh Khan's Signature Pose And A Pathaan-Special Dance
PUNE: There is a cold wave expected between 1st-4th Feb over Maharashtra, Mumbai will experience temperatures way below 0 degrees for the first time ever." This was among thousands of forwarded messages, including "The reintroduction of Rs 1000 notes into circulation is scheduled for February 1, 2023" and "Crypto currency is now a legal instrument of payment in India " that TOI recently busted as fake.Under the Times Verified campaign, readers send any suspicious messages then see circulating on social media to this paper on the WhatsApp number 9819888887. To verify their credibility, our expert panel - comprising reporters, editors and representatives from the municipality and government - taps into its carefully-cultivated network of trustworthy sources.Launched nationally on November 21 last year, the Times Verified initiative aims to break the chain of viral misinformation and disinformation that has been infecting social media groups. Since the launch, TOI's editorial team has received close to 1.2 lakh messages, half of which turned out to be false. Besides misleading headlines like "The retirement age for all Govt employees increased to 67 from 15th Jan 2023" and "12 passengers of Yeti Airlines that crashed, have survived and are getting treated at a local medical Center in Nepal", the fake news included panic-inducing messages like "Meta announces major down time of 3 days for all its social media platforms starting 3rd Feb 2023, resulting out of scheduled maintenance."Recently, at the Election Commission of India's international conference on the use of technology election integrity in Delhi, Anthony Banbury, president of the US-based International Foundation for Electoral Systems, stated that misinformation was one of the biggest threats to democracy and electoral integrity. Banbury said technological tools were being developed and made available to individuals, candidates, political parties and "malign actors". "More and more companies are willing to sell commercial services to candidates, parties or nefarious actors who want to influence election outcomes to spread misinformation campaigns, to attack political opponents. And where those attacks are coming from are not seen by those consuming the information via social media," Banbury added.In this scenario, the job of our chain-breakers - readers who have been forwarding dubious messages to help identify red flags - is significant. Among these fake news chain-breakers today are readers like Karnataka's Rathnakar Holla, West Bengal's Tapas Das and Maharashtra's Vivek Amonkar, Subhash Bahulekar and Atul Bag. To join them in the war on misinformation, all you have to do is send anxiety-causing headlines doing the rounds of social media networks to our expert panel.
MUMBAI: Activists of right-wing outfits took out a rally in the city on Sunday against 'love jihad' and demanded anti-conversion laws and a crackdown on land-grabbing in the name of religion. Leaders and workers of right-wing outfits -RSS, Bajrang Dal and VHP marched in the rally. Many leaders and MLAs of BJP and those of CM Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction also took part.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Friday said that in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will break all records and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will retain power with a thumping majority. He was talking to reporters after attending the live screening of 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' event addressed by PM Modi. Shinde saw the programme at the municipal school in Kisan Nagar locality of the city, where he had studied.Stating that he was pleased to witness the 'Pariksha Pe Charcha' programme in Thane, where he grew up, Shinde added that he was proud of being a civic school student. Replying to a question on the results of a recent political survey conducted by a media house on the next year's Lok Sabha polls, he said, "In the next general elections, PM Modi will break all records and the NDA will return to power with a thumping majority." Shinde said a survey conducted on just a handful of people does not give a true picture. "They ignored the results of the recently-concluded gram panchayat elections, where the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena (Shinde-led faction) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) performed very well," he said. "In politics, two plus two is not always four. A survey based on just a handful of people does not give the real picture...I have got the details of how many people were surveyed. I do not want to go into any figures," he said. In the two-and-a-half years before he became the chief minister, a "government with negativity" was in power, Shinde said while referring to the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government led by Uddhav Thackeray. But there is a government with positivity in the state now. There was dissatisfaction in the state during the previous government's rule. But we launched several development works and changed the entire atmosphere in the state, he said. "Now, even I will not be able to say as to who will join hands with whom and whose alliance will break apart. But the Balasahebanchi Shiv Sena and BJP have been doing good work and this is a government of the common man. People have already decided whom they will vote for and we understand people's response," he said. "The survey said that the NDA government will come to power and that the popularity of PM Modi is increasing. Is it any different in Maharashtra?...We will be leading whenever elections are held. People of the state have already made up their mind. Hence, those who want to enjoy the opinion poll results for the next one-and-a-half years, let them enjoy," he said. "We are not afraid of elections. Future itself will give replies to the predictions of the survey," he said. During his visit to Thane city on Thursday, Shiv Sena (UBT) president and former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had alleged that the Sena and Maharashtra were defamed due to the "betrayal and defections" that took place, a reference to Shinde and 39 MLAs bringing down the MVA government.Replying to Thackeray's remarks, Shinde said, "We give replies through our work. If you make two allegations, we will carry out four works. It will be our reply. People are not interested in allegations and counter-allegations." "When 50 MLAs, 13 MPs and several office-bearers of the party across the country and even close relatives deserted them, then they should have done soul searching and introspected. Instead of that, they are indulging in allegations. I wish them all the best," he said. Students from 968 schools, including 140 civic ones, in Thane witnessed the 'Pariksha pe Charcha' programme at their schools, BJP MLC and party's Thane city district president Niranjan Davkhare said in a release.