Amreli district in Gujarat, which has five Assembly constituencies under its fold, has seen a perennial shortage of water. A stronghold of state Agriculture Minister Dilip Sanghani for the last 25 years, the region has till date not received its daily quota of water either for drinking or irrigation.
"We shall soon give water daily to the area once all tanks are built. In 1998, the Congress government had a dam. But the dam was made by those involved in corruption and it is unusable now," Sanghani told a crowd at a IBN7 hosted programme Aapki Vote, Aapki Sarkar trying to shift the blame to the opposition Congress.
However, he could hardly find any taker for his claims. Worse, the minister struggled to give a convincing reply when he was questioned by voters on the Rs 500 crore scam he is allegedly involved.
"I am not related to the Greenhouse project scam. I have responded to all the charges in writing and the matter is sub-judice," Sanghani said. The minister is fighting the polls again.
However, Congress leader Paresh Dhanani also did not find it easy to face the high-voltage crowd. Dhanani immediately sought to put the blame on the ruling BJP when he was cornered by the audience.
When asked why he was not around in the last five years, the Congress leader said, "I was born in Amreli. I know every lane and by-lane in Amreli. How can you say I was not present?"
But more direct questions to Dhanani soon followed particularly on inflation and the limitation of subsidised LPG cylinders to six.
"The BJP government in Gujarat raised wages which has resulted in inflation. And the state government has the power and resources to increase the number of subsidised cylinders from six a year but it is not doing so," the Congress leader said.
For Mahesh Sudani, deputy chairmen, APMC, Savarkundla and member of the Gujarat Parivartan Party, it was tough to get away from the BJP mindset.
"I am not influenced by the BJP. My ideologies are based on those of RSS," Sudani said strongly denying a BJP link.