Gandhinagar: After losing their strongman Kunwarji Bavaliya, the former MLA from Jasdan to the ruling BJP last week, the Congress on Wednesday put up a show of strength of Koli community leaders who had gathered here to discuss the plans regarding the 2019 general elections.
Punjabhai Vansh, the senior leader and an MLA from Una, led the meeting with six sitting and two former MLAs from the community. Many other leaders from various fronts in the Koli community had gathered at the Circuit House in Gandhingar.
“There is a misleading propaganda by the BJP that with the induction of Kunwarji Bavaliya in the saffron party, the entire Koli community is with the BJP.
“To rubbish that, we have gathered here as a community to show our solidarity towards the Congress and as a mark of strength,” said Punjabhai Vansh.”
“We have also come here to discuss our strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and also to strengthen the organisational structure of the Congress and its hold over the Koli community.
“Kunwarji may be claiming that the entire Koli community is with him, but that is not so. We have a large section of the community who believe in the Congress ideology and are backing us.”
Vansh has been a sitting MLA winning the last five terms from Una, the place where the infamous flogging incident happened last year.
The Congress did not win a single seat in the 2014 general elections as all the 26 Lok Sabha constituencies were taken by the BJP. Any seat won in the next general elections will be a gain for them.
Besides Koli community MLAs like Vimal Chudasama, Somabhai Ganda, Rutvik Makwana, Bhikhabhai Baraiya and two former MLAs Jethala Jora and Praveenbhai Rathod, tribal MLA Chandrikaben Baraiya was also present at the meeting.