Senior BJP leaders reached Gujarat on Sunday to campaign for the party. Unfortunately for them, last minute venue changes, low turn-out of people as well as alleged efforts made by dissidents to spoil the show proved to be a damper.
Chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivrajsingh Chauhan had to cut down his time in the meeting, while senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was forced to convert a public meeting into a close group intellectual seminar. The meeting of Chauhan was delayed by two hours, creating a chaos in south Gujarat. The venue, Karanj, was declared just a few hours prior the meeting, resulting in a very thin crowd.
So dire were the conditions that BJP workers had to be on their toes gathering crowds at around 55 different venues in the Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Surat, Navsari, Bharuch, Ahmedabad (Rural), Jamnagar, Tapi and Valsad among others.
Chief minister of Jharkhand Arjun Munda got angry at some BJP workers for mismanagement when the location of his pre-planned public meeting was changed from Gandevi to Dehgam village of Chikli taluka. The crowd of less than 200 seemed demotivating enough for Munda to cut short his speech at the meeting. Party sources alleged that the rebellion group in Navsari was on prowl and did not allow the meetings. This, they claimed, forced BJP to change the location from Gandevi to Dehgaam. Munda was to attend six meetings, but he cut down the number to four and left.
Similarly, the public meeting at DVK circle in Rajkot to be addressed by senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was converted into a closed group intellectual meeting due to low turn-out of people. President, Rajkot (city) BJP, Ashok Nand said that the venue of the meeting was changed due to tazia procession in the locality.
The situation was no different in Bhavnagar where Smriti Irani, national secretary, Women’s Cell, BJP, was to address a meeting.
There were fewer people than expected. Similar was the case at the meeting addressed by former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu in Bharuch.