Gujarat polls: Will BJP roar again in the den of Asiatic Lions - Junagadh?

Famous for Asiatic lions, Junagadh district in Gujarat's Saurashtra region is still far from being a tourist destination. A home of sand and sea and also of hills, the poor condition in tourism can be gauged from the fact that the Girnar ropeway project is hanging in balance for the last 25 years. And now it is caught in a legal tangle and the matter is sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

"I can assure you that the Gujarat government has sanctioned the ropeway project and it will be built the moment the matter is out of the Supreme Court," Junagadh MLA Mahendra Mashroo told voters at an IBN7 hosted programme Mera Vote, Meri Sarkar. Mashroo is fighting the elections again.

The Assembly constituencies in Junagadh. Image courtesy ECI

Junagadh, which is also known for Kesar mangoes, has nine Assembly constituencies under its fold: Manavadar, Junagadh, Visavadar, Kodinar (SC), Talala, Una, Somnath, Keshod and Mangrol.

Congress leader Vinu Amipara also sought to blame the BJP for lack of development in Junagadh city even though the municipality is under Congress.

"We have made all plans to develop Junagadh city. But there is lack of funds from the state government which is BJP ruled," Amipara said.

"We had demanded Rs 600 crore for the development of Junagadh city. But the MLA went to the capital to say that funds should not be released for Junagadh," the Congress leader said pointing fingers at Mashroo.

The sitting MLA also failed to give a convincing answer when he was cornered on the lack of export opportunities of Kesar mangoes.

"This is a policy decision of the government. I am just a MLA from Junagadh. I cannot comment on that," Mashroo said.

Representative of the newly formed Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP), Dinesh Kancha chose the opportunity to slam both BJP and Congress together and push forward the agenda of party-founder Keshubhai Patel.

"Both Congress and BJP are useless. When Keshubhai Patel was chief minister of the state twice he gave free electricity to the farmers. He will again work for the agricultural and fishing community," Kancha said.

There is a possibility that the GPP may cause some problem for the BJP in Junagadh as it is dominated by Leuva Patels, the BJP breakaway faction that formed the new party.

Gujarat votes on 13 and 17 December in a two-phase poll. The counting is scheduled to be on 20 December.