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March 24, 2001 - March 24, 2001

Bangaru's effigy hanged in Rajkot Saturday, March 24, 2001

RAJKOT: An effigy of former BJP president Bangaru Laxman was hanged from atop the statue of Rani Laxmibai at Mahila College Chowk on Friday by members of the Rajkot district Youth Congress.

The YC members demanded that Laxman vacate the Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat as he was shown accepting bribe in the tehelka tapes.

The Youth Congress programme took everyone by surprise and even before the city police could take any preventive action the effigy was hanged amidst loud cheers.

Incidentally, the Mahila College police post is right across the road where the hanging took place.

Later, city YC president Nidit Barot said in a statement that Laxman was a persona non grata in Gujarat and must resign from the Rajya Sabha seat. It was a shame for any public figure from Gujarat to indulge in such an act of corruption, Barot said.

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Bangaru's effigy hanged in Rajkot Saturday, March 24, 2001

RAJKOT: An effigy of former BJP president Bangaru Laxman was hanged from atop the statue of Rani Laxmibai at Mahila College Chowk on Friday by members of the Rajkot district Youth Congress.

The YC members demanded that Laxman vacate the Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat as he was shown accepting bribe in the tehelka tapes.

The Youth Congress programme took everyone by surprise and even before the city police could take any preventive action the effigy was hanged amidst loud cheers.

Incidentally, the Mahila College police post is right across the road where the hanging took place.

Later, city YC president Nidit Barot said in a statement that Laxman was a persona non grata in Gujarat and must resign from the Rajya Sabha seat. It was a shame for any public figure from Gujarat to indulge in such an act of corruption, Barot said.

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Infighting in Rajkot BJP comes to fore Saturday, March 24, 2001

RAJKOT: The severe infighting in the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to the fore on Friday with the sudden resignation of former deputy mayor Mukesh Dangar from all organisational posts of the party.

He has been fighting a lone battle against the autocratic behaviour of some of the BJP leaders in the city.

The resignation of Dangar was the fallout of the allegations levelled against him about the cross-voting indulged in by some BJP members during the elections of the Nagar Prathmik Sikshan Samiti in which the Congress member got an extra vote from a BJP member.

A silent campaign was launched by former mayor Uday Kangad and his supporters against Dangar and a situation was created where the former deputy mayor could not tolerate the humiliation inflicted on him by Kangad who himself has a dubious background.

Sources within the city unit of the BJP also say that Kangad who had to face defeat at the hands of current Mayor Ashok Dangar had been waiting for an opportunity to hit back at senior leaders like Mukesh Dangar in the party.

Kangad is also said to be close to programme implementation committee chairman Vijay Rupani who continues to meddle in city politics more than his assignment in Gandhinagar. Rupani has a coterie of Dhansukh Bhanderi, Ramesh Rupapara and Kirit Pathak who keep on bolstering his sagging image in the party.

Some of the seniormost leaders like Pushpaben Pandya and Govind Solanki have been pushed to the backstage by this coterie which has virtually hijacked the party and is running it as a personal fiefdom. Some of the senior leaders do not even attend the party meeting for the fear of they being shouted down by the coterie.

The former deputy mayor, who was a loyal party worker till the allegations were levelled against him, said that he had resigned as "I could not shoulder the big responsibility of the organisation of the party at the city level". He has resigned from the vice-presidentship of the city BJP and as incharge of three wards in which the BJP had emerged victorious.

Dangar said that he could not tolerate the high-handedness so much prevalent in the BJP today and even though he had sought an impartial inquiry into the entire episode of cross-voting, the party high command had scuttled this demand at the behest of some "powerful leaders in Gandhinagar".

He said, "Instead of levelling such allegations and counter allegations, the party leaders in the city should had got down to serious thinking as to what made a BJP man vote for the Congress. The first aim of the party should be to ensure that such incident never happens again. Without going to the root of the cause, the party high command had indulged in mudslinging and efforts were made to put the entire probe into cross-voting in the wrong box".

The infighting in the city BJP has reached such a peak that even the city MP and Union minister of state for heavy industry Vallabh Kathiria was not spared by Rupani and company.

The 25-member BJP group in the civic body is not in fine tune and after the party lost control of the corporation, the infighting has risen beyond control of even the party high command.

The homogenous unit that was once a trademark of the BJP, is sorely missing thanks to the infighting and leg-pulling at various levels.

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Infighting in Rajkot BJP comes to fore Saturday, March 24, 2001

RAJKOT: The severe infighting in the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party came to the fore on Friday with the sudden resignation of former deputy mayor Mukesh Dangar from all organisational posts of the party.

He has been fighting a lone battle against the autocratic behaviour of some of the BJP leaders in the city.

The resignation of Dangar was the fallout of the allegations levelled against him about the cross-voting indulged in by some BJP members during the elections of the Nagar Prathmik Sikshan Samiti in which the Congress member got an extra vote from a BJP member.

A silent campaign was launched by former mayor Uday Kangad and his supporters against Dangar and a situation was created where the former deputy mayor could not tolerate the humiliation inflicted on him by Kangad who himself has a dubious background.

Sources within the city unit of the BJP also say that Kangad who had to face defeat at the hands of current Mayor Ashok Dangar had been waiting for an opportunity to hit back at senior leaders like Mukesh Dangar in the party.

Kangad is also said to be close to programme implementation committee chairman Vijay Rupani who continues to meddle in city politics more than his assignment in Gandhinagar. Rupani has a coterie of Dhansukh Bhanderi, Ramesh Rupapara and Kirit Pathak who keep on bolstering his sagging image in the party.

Some of the seniormost leaders like Pushpaben Pandya and Govind Solanki have been pushed to the backstage by this coterie which has virtually hijacked the party and is running it as a personal fiefdom. Some of the senior leaders do not even attend the party meeting for the fear of they being shouted down by the coterie.

The former deputy mayor, who was a loyal party worker till the allegations were levelled against him, said that he had resigned as "I could not shoulder the big responsibility of the organisation of the party at the city level". He has resigned from the vice-presidentship of the city BJP and as incharge of three wards in which the BJP had emerged victorious.

Dangar said that he could not tolerate the high-handedness so much prevalent in the BJP today and even though he had sought an impartial inquiry into the entire episode of cross-voting, the party high command had scuttled this demand at the behest of some "powerful leaders in Gandhinagar".

He said, "Instead of levelling such allegations and counter allegations, the party leaders in the city should had got down to serious thinking as to what made a BJP man vote for the Congress. The first aim of the party should be to ensure that such incident never happens again. Without going to the root of the cause, the party high command had indulged in mudslinging and efforts were made to put the entire probe into cross-voting in the wrong box".

The infighting in the city BJP has reached such a peak that even the city MP and Union minister of state for heavy industry Vallabh Kathiria was not spared by Rupani and company.

The 25-member BJP group in the civic body is not in fine tune and after the party lost control of the corporation, the infighting has risen beyond control of even the party high command.

The homogenous unit that was once a trademark of the BJP, is sorely missing thanks to the infighting and leg-pulling at various levels.

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Maliya residents observe bandh Saturday, March 24, 2001

Residents of Maliya observed a complete bandh on Thursday in support of the quake-affected people who are sitting on a fast unto death, demanding that they be issued new ration cards as the old ones are buried under the debris of their houses.

Almost 90 per cent of the houses in Maliya and surrounding villages were damaged in the January 26 quake.

As many as 1,283 people are taking part in the fast unto death which continued for the fourth day on Friday.

According to the district collector's office here, the 14 protesters whose health had deteriorated were shifted to a hospital. The intense heat and lack of diet had led to dehydration in these people.

The civil supplies department is also not taking a sympathetic view of this problem and these people are being denied ration as they did not have the card to establish their identity.

The residents had earlier too sat on an indefinite fast from March 7 to 9 and a bandh was observed on March 8. After an assurance was made by the district administration, they had called off the agitation. And now when the administration has gone back on its word, the people have been forced to re-launch the agitation.

The civil supplies department sources told TOINS that out of the 2,083 applications received for new cards, only 991 had been cleared and the work was stopped after that for some unspecified reason.

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