BJP chief Amit Shah, who filed his nomination for the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat on Saturday, 30 March, started his election campaign by garlanding the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Naranpura, Ahmedabad.
Shah has replaced BJP veteran L K Advani, who had been winning uninterrupted from Gandhinagar since 1998, from the prestigious constituency. Shah is contesting the Lok Sabha poll for the first time.
Shah’s nomination from the Gandhinagar seat will mark a generational shift in the BJP as this seat was held by Advani for six terms. The state BJP feels that Shah’s nomination will energise the party in Gujarat and help it win all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
After addressing a public rally Amit Shah set off on a road show in Ahmedabad leading to the collector’s office where he filed his nomination for the Gandhinagar seat. Thousands of BJP workers and gathered on the streets cheering Amit Shah and the BJP as the road show trudged along towards the collector’s office.
”We will win this seat with a huge majority. In fact the BJP will win all 26 seats here in Gujarat. Look at the crowd gathered here, capture this visual, this is the answer to the opposition.”Amit Shah, BJP National President
Shah and NDA Allies Take Stage
Shah addressed a Vijay Sankalp Sabha in the city before embarking on a massive road show. Shah’s son Jay Shah was also present with the BJP national president during the public address.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, leaders of BJP’s allies such as Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan were present on the stage with Shah.
“This is a prestigious seat which saw LK Advani win so many times. Even former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Purshottam Ganesh Mavlankar won from this seat in the past. I am extremely fortunate that I have been nominated by the party to contest the elections from Gandhinagar. I have nothing in my life without the party. Everything I’ve gained, learned and contributed to the country is due to the BJP.”Amit Shah, BJP National President
He further added, “During my visits to different places in the country, I found people chanting only Modi's name to lead the country. In Narendra Modi, people have found the leader they had been waiting for since the last 70 years," Shah said.
"This election will be fought only on the issue of who will lead the country... When I ask this question to people from Himachal to Kanyakumari and from Kamrup to Gandhinagar, I can only hear one sound – 'Modi, Modi, Modi'," Shah told the crowd
BJP Leaders and NDA Allies Heap Praises on Shah
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was always in support of Amit Shah contesting LS elections.
“I had decided that the day he will file his nomination I will stand by him in person. LK Advani won this seat for so many terms and it is fitting that Amit shah takes over the reins from him in the 2019 LS Elections. I am confident that the people of Gujarat and Gandhinagar will vote Amit Shah to the Parliament from this prestigious seat.”Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister
At the sabha, Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackerey said that the Shiv Sena never stabbed the BJP from the back and never will.
“My father taught me to do everything from heart, issues that we raised were of the people, we (BJP-Shiv Sena) had differences but we settled them. BJP and Shiv Sena have same ideologies. But I want to ask Opposition alliance, do you have anything in common?” Thackerey said.
Speaking with reporters earlier in the day at Gandhinagar, Union Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari said, “I am confident that Amit Shah will win the Gandhinagar seat with a huge majority and the party too will return to power with more seats than the last election. Our alliance will form the government and Modiji will return as PM.”