Published: Wed, February 08, 2017
Health | By Bessie Ortiz

'Hardik is Sena's face for Gujarat polls'

'Hardik is Sena's face for Gujarat polls'

When asked at the press conference about the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" theory, Patel said he was in Mumbai to meet friends and that the goal of his visit was not political.

Shiv Sena, which recently ended its 27-year-old alliance with the BJP, has chose to contest the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat on its own.

After arriving in Mumbai, Hardik Patel while talking to reporters said that he will campaign for Biren Limbachya, Shiv Sena candidate for the Mumbai municipal elections from Goregaon. But nothing has been decided or discussed yet.

Addressing a joint-press conference with Thackeray, Patel said that he is a fan of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray and will be Shiv Sena's campaign face in Gujarat.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday took potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that a picture of his was nowadays equivalent to a fake stamp paper printed by Abdul Karim Telgi. This will be for the first time that BJP and Sena would be locking horns in the civic polls and Gujarat vote bank will be a major factor in near about 40 of the total 277 seats.

Describing Patel as "a firebrand leader", Thackeray said that the Patidar community leader "would be the face of the party in Gujarat".

He also said that he was looking to align with "like-minded people".

Hardik had given a lot of problems to the BJP at the Centre and the State over the Patel reservation row also known as Patidar quota row.

. This is the highest number the Sena, which once opposed Gujaratis calling outsiders, has ever had in its electoral history in Mumbai's local elections.

Gujarat will be having its assembly polls later this year. The Gujarati community is estimated to constitute 17 per cent of Mumbai's voters and the Marathi vote is more than 30 per cent.

Summary: BJP, apparently accepting the challenge, without taking Uddhav Thackeray 's name, sought an open debate with the Sena leadership over the matter. What Sena is banking on is a minor split in the 15 lakh strong Gujarati electorate from BJP in BMC elections.

The Gujarati population comprises of 18 percent of the total electorate in Mumbai.

In the last one month, the Shiv Sena has also inducted some prominent Gujarati community members who were previously with the BJP. He was jailed for his massive campaign, demanding job quotas for the Patel community, which turned violent.

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