On a day when the political spectacle was in Varanasi, the Congress changed its Vadodara, Gujarat, candidate from lightweight Narendra Rawat to Madhusudan Mistry to give BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi a fight on his home turf.
As an AICC general secretary close to Rahul Gandhi, Mistry has emerged as a prominent leader in the new dispensation. Therefore, it is evident that he has fielded to take on Modi in one of safest seats for the BJP in Gujarat as part of the Congress strategy of not letting the Gujarat Chief Minister have it easy anywhere.
Known to be at loggerheads with the party’s old-guard as well as established leaders of his own state Gujarat, Mistry USP in Congress is his strong anti-Modi stance.
So, he has been handpicked with the expectation that he would put a valiant fight in Vadodara which would make the elections less of a cake-walk for Modi.
Though not many would bet on Mistry winning from the ‘communally sensitive’ constituency of Vadodara, sources said, he would certainly give Modi’s ‘combative, tight election machinery’ a ‘daily dose of irritation’ which would have a ‘ripple effect’. Mistry has a base in the tribal areas of Sabarkantha in north Gujarat, but has not been able win the seat in 2009. He was recently handpicked by Rahul for a Rajya Sabha seat and made general secretary in charge of the Congress Central Election Committee. “I was waiting for this moment for many years. Let Modi fight from Vadodara, I will also fight and defeat him. I am very confident,” Mistry said.