Is it a ‘Jadeja v Jadeja’ contest for the Jamnagar (north) seat in Gujarat? ‘No’… according to Congress leader Naina Jadeja – sister-in-law to BJP lawmaker-hopeful Rivaba Jadeja and sister to her husband and India cricketer Ravindra Jadeja – because many families have members working for different parties.
Naina and her father Anirudhsinh campaigned for the Congress candidate in Jamnagar (north) while Ravindra stood by his wife Rivaba.
The India cricket star’s sister, however, leaves no doubt about her politics.
“BJP made only false promises… education system has suffered and inflation is at a record high. People should understand there is a need for change of government because if they come to power again and again… ” she said.
“They will feel proud (think) they are the only ones who can run this country. But they are not doing anything… did not even fulfil promises,” she added.
Full Coverage | 2022 Gujarat Assembly election
On divides at the Jadeja dinner table, Naina said: “No, it’s not like this.”
“My love for my brother stays the same. My sister-in-law is a BJP candidate as of now (but) as a sister-in-law she is good,” she was quoted by news agency ANI.
Both Naina and Anirudhsinh voted from the Jamnagar seat Thursday morning in the first (of two phases) of polls. Votes will be counted on December 8.
Anirudhsinh said, “I am with Congress. Party matters are different from family matters. We should stay with our party… he (Ravindra) knows it is a party matter, no family problem.”
‘I trust people of Jamnagar’
Rivaba Jadeja was equally sanguine about the ‘family v family’ edge.
The appeals my father-in-law (and sister-in-law) are doing… they are not doing it as my father-in-law or my sister-in-law… but as workers of another party.”
“There is no difficulty. There can be people of different ideologies in the same family. I have trust in the people of Jamnagar… BJP will win.”
Rivaba’s nomination came as something of a surprise.
The BJP dropped incumbent MLA Dharmendrasinh Merubha (who stole the previously Congress-held seat in 2017) to pick her.
She has received firm backing from her husband, who has tweeted video statements urging people to vote for the BJP.
Both Ravindra and Rivaba Jadeja have also cast their votes.
The BJP is expected to claim an unprecedented seventh consecutive term in power in Gujarat but face the double challenge of shrinking margins of victories and dark horse debutants Aam Aadmi Party, fresh from their Punjab win.
With input from ANI, PTI