Aam Aadmi Party's Gujarat Chief Ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi today took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the polling booth to cast his vote in the second phase of Gujarat Assembly polls, dubbed by the Opposition as a 'road show' that flouts rules, saying campaigning doesn't solve people's problems.
When asked by NDTV for his comment on the allegations of the PM flouting Election Commission rules, he said, "Campaigning doesn't reduce education fee hikes. Campaign or big rhetoric doesn't help check rising prices, or solve the issue of paper leaks."
Congress has slammed the Election Commission, accusing it of looking away while the PM "made an event" out of his visit to the polling station. It said the PM exploited the opportunity to flout rules that prevent any campaigning during polling.
Mr Gadhvi further stressed that the people support him because of his "decency", as he practised issue-based journalism in his time in the media.
"People support a decent person like me. I have worked diligently for them. Getting into politics was not just my interest, but my compulsion. I raised the issue of fee hike during Covid here, and personally got Rs 120 crore in fees waved off. I rigorously reported during the Covid pandemic and raised people's issues," he said.
Isudan Gadhvi is a registered voter in the Ghatlodia Assembly constituency, from where incumbent Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel is contesting. Mr Gadhvi himself is contesting from the Khambhalia seat.
He said he had got his voter address updated to Ghatlodia due to work, as he was a journalist working from that area. "I could have got it re-transferred to my home address, but didn't think it proper or necessary," he said.
He alleged that the education system in Ghatlodia is rife with corruption and in a shambles, and added that there are issues with price rise, unemployment, law and order, electricity bills, and healthcare as well.
Isudan Gadhvi then appealed to the voters to turn up in large numbers, as it's important for them to vote if they want to hold the government accountable.
"If you don't vote and then just complain that the government isn't doing anything or a politician isn't working, then it's not fair," he said, adding that they should vote for whoever they think is right for them, but to ensure that they do vote.
On whispers that the AAP had a chance in the first phase of voting, but not in this one, he claimed that all predictions will be proven wrong as these are "silent voters".
"Neither mine nor yours, BJP's, or Congress's predictions will be correct. People are in that mood. Even when I was campaigning, people would e excited to meet me, but at the polling stations they were very restrained, and would wave to me when I moved away," he said.
The first phase of the Gujarat election on December 1 saw low turnout, prompting the Election Commission to criticise "urban apathy" among voters.
A turnout of 19.2 per cent has been recorded till 11 am in the second phase that's underway today.
About 833 candidates are contesting across the 93 seats polling today. Among them are 16 urban seats in Ahmedabad. These seats are crucial for the BJP, and it has dominated them for three decades now.