However, according to a senior leader who was not given a ticket, the AAP is only strong in Varachha Road, Surat North, Karanj and Katargam, where the party’s state president Gopal Italia is in the fray. “The party is winning three seats from here. Katargam, Varachha Road and Karanj. The caste equations favour us. The party is giving a good fight in Kamrej and Olpad.”
However, according to Surat (East) Congress office chief Dharmesh B Mistry, the fight is between the BJP and the Congress, and the AAP’s campaign is only a media hype. Mistry said the AAP will not win any seat and the elections will prove it. It is not that the Congress has ignored Surat. Party leader Rahul Gandhi’s first rally in Gujarat was in Surat.
Even the BJP has pulled out all stops, with rallies by prime minister Narendra Modi and roadshows by UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and party leader Ravi Kishan – in an attempt to woo the large population of migrants in the district.
However, according to Patidar leader Alpesh Katharia, who is contesting from Varachha against former AYUSH minister Kishore Bhai Kanani, “The Gujarat model is just made-up…People have made up their mind to give us five years. The BJP candidates here are former ministers. Now there will be former MLAs and they shall remain former.”
Formerly with the Congress, Kathiria said, “There is no better party than the Congress, but our leaders have forgotten how to fight…who will win, we’ll know on the eighth.”