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Vaghela to contest from Radhanpur - The Indian Express

Deepal Trivedi ()
5 February 1997

Title : Vaghela to contest from Radhanpur
Author : Deepal Trivedi
Publication : The Indian Express
Date : February 5, 1997

Ending speculations about where he would contest from, Gujarat
Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela has finally decided to contest
from Radhanpur in Banaskantha district.

According to reliable sources, Independent candidate Lavingji
Solanki has decided to vacate his seat for the Chief Minister.
Vaghela has formally informed Solanki on Monday night that he would
contest from Radhanpur constituency.

Interestingly, while half-a-dozen MLAs had offered to vacate their
seats to facilitate Vaghela to get elected, Solanki had never
publicised his desire to vacate his seat.

Caste composition has been the main reason why Vaghela seems to
have decided upon contesting the elections from the Radhanpur
constituency for over 70 per cent population here comprises Other
Backward Class (OBCs). While Thakors and Chaudhrys are in a
majority, Muslims and Ahirs make up for the rest of the OBC
population. Vaghela has been trying to champion the OBC cause in
Gujarat.

Also, Lavingji Solanki enjoys a very clean reputation and has a
good base in Radhanpur. Serving his first term, Solanki was a
fruit-hawker before entering public life. Associated with the
Thakor Samaj and the Kabir Ashram of Deesa, the primary school
drop-out has been able to convince the Chief Minister that his
constituency is a "safe bet".

Also, another thing that is likely to go in favour of Vaghela is
the fact that there is absolutely no BJP presence in Radhanpur.
The 20-member body of the Radhanpur Nagarpalika has 10 Congress and
1 0 Independents supporting the Congress.



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