Uncle-niece contest spices up poll battle in Jamnagar

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Jamnagar (Guj), Apr 23: The Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat will witness an interesting contest between two relatives as the present MP Vikram Madam, who is contesting polls on a Congress ticket, has been challenged by his niece and Khambalia MLA Poonam Maadam, fielded by the BJP.

Two time MP Vikram Madam, who is eyeing a hat-trick here, had won the seat in 2004 after defeating the five-term BJP MP Chandresh Koradia.

Jamnagar is one of those seats in the state, through which Congress is eyeing to make a dent into BJP's 'Mission 26' (winning 26 seats in Gujarat).

The parliamentary polls in Gujarat will be held on April 30. 39-year Poonam Maadam, daughter of Jamnagar city's first mayor and six time MLA of Khambhalia assembly seat Hemant Maadam, had started her political career with the Congress.

However, she left the party after she was denied ticket from her father's traditional seat. After that, BJP fielded her from Khambhalia seat, where she emerged victorious.

On the caste factor, Ahir - the community which has 1.50 lakh voters out of the total 14.58 lakh voters, have all chances to be fractioned in both the parties, whose candidates belong to this caste. Vikram Madam, 56, told PTI that he does not see this electoral battle as a contest between two relatives and people would vote on the basis of the work he had done in Jamnagar.

"She (Poonam) is my cousin's daughter and if she has ambition to fight election against me I cannot stop her, but I will see this electoral fight in terms of two different ideologies of what the Congress represents and what the BJP represents," Vikram said.

"Even if my son fights against me, it will not make any impact. People know that I am the only MP of Gujarat, who has used his entire allocated funds for people's betterment," he said.

The BJP office-bearers claim that they are seeking votes on the development work carried out by the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

BJP in-charge of Jamnagar and state leader Vasuben Trivedi said, "People will vote in favour of Narendra Modi as they have witnessed the development done by him in Gujarat in the last 12 years."

Replying to a query, he said, "Caste factor does not work in the elections, only development factor will be considered here."

BJP's Jamnagar city president Hasmukh Hindocha said, "After 1977, another Gujarati is in the prime ministerial race, so people will put trust and vote for us."

Jamanagar constituency has also seen an interesting trend as in the 2012 local bodies election as BJP won Salaya Municipality, where 90 per cent of the population was Muslim.

Out of the seven assembly seats under Jamnagar Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP had won five seats in 2012.

PTI

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