In picking a Sindhi gynaecologist to replace jailed former minister Maya Kodnani from the Naroda constituency, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has played a masterstroke. The saffron party has fielded Dr Nirmala Vadhvani, a gynaecologist belonging to Sindhi community in place of Kodnani.
A closer scrutiny of both women suggests remarkable similarities between Vadhvani and Kodnani as the former not only fits in criteria of giving representation to Sindhi community, she also represents medical fraternity. And above all, she is a woman too.
Picking a candidate for Naroda seat was an uphill task for BJP.
On one hand, Patel and other community leaders were also staking claims on Naroda seat. The saffron brigade could not afford to create resentment among Sindhi community after Kodnani was awarded 28-year jail term in Naroda Patia case.
BJP sources say that party believes that as Vadhvani is a woman candidate, she may be able to win hearts of dissidents from other communities as well.
Vadhvani’s name was doing the rounds in political circles as one of the probable candidate but no one was sure of her selection. She is an active political member of BJP and attends party programmes on a regular basis. However, she is not an aggressive politician and is more interested in social activities, said party sources.
She is also actively working with many community organisations. She is a committee member of ladies wing of Bharatiya Sindhu Sabha, Karnavati and recently got promoted as secretary of Gujarat Zone of the organisation. Moreover, she is chairperson (ladies wing) of Rangkarma Theatre - drama and musical group of the Sindhi community.
She was also president of lady’s wing of Ahmedabad Medical Association (AMA) in 2010-11. She has been creating awareness about preventing female foeticide. Vadhvani, a soft-spoken gynaecologist, has not contested any election unlike her predecessor Kondani who rose to the level of a minister from a municipal corporator.
However, Vadhvani is likely to get wholehearted support of Sindhi community and has the ability of becoming a new community leader, say sources.