Gujarat minister Jagdish Vishwakarma blamed the voters of Vadgam for the BJP’s defeat against Congress’s Jignesh Mevani in the recent state assembly polls. He accused the people of the SC-reserved seat in Banaskantha district of betraying the country by not ensuring BJP’s victory. This statement drew criticism from Mevani, who said that the ruling party should also learn to digest defeat.
Jagdish Vishwakarma, also known as Jagdish Panchal, is the Minister of State for Cooperation, Salt Industry, Protocol and MSME in the Bhupendra Patel-led government. He was on a tour of Warnawada village in Vadgam during the day when he addressed the people. When people greeted him, he vented his anger by citing their “hypocrisy”.
He said, “Those who were responsible (for the BJP’s defeat) have actually betrayed the country. You welcomed me, garlanded me, but let me tell you that instead of showing such hypocrisy now, You should have shown your love by ensuring BJP’s victory here.” ,
Hitting back, Mevani said, “BJP ministers are upset because their party could not win here despite spending crores of rupees. Vishwakarma insulted the villagers despite a warm welcome. He should learn to accept defeat.” He further said that the voters of Vadgam would ensure BJP’s defeat in the upcoming elections as well.
In the Gujarat Assembly elections held on 1 and 5 December, the BJP won 156 out of 182 seats, leaving the Congress only 17. Dalit leader Mevani retained Vadgam by defeating BJP’s Manibhai Vaghela by 4,000 votes.
(With inputs from PTI)