Although Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi continued with his Sadbhavana Yatra for over a year for a national political acceptance, the BJP leader is still the face of Hindutva in the state.
Modi, may have consciously avoided mentioning about the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat, but buy tagetting Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he asserted his position as a strong defender of the majority community.
"Ahmed Mian Patel wants to be the chief minister. He is trying hard and there may be a conspiracy," Modi taunted the Congress leader at an election rally recently.
"They (the Hindu community) feel that there is a very strong guy to protect them," said Darshan Desai, assistant editor, The Hindu.
The chief minister's dominance in the Hindu community is easily visible as many Hindu religious leaders are with him.
"Whatever our guru says we will do it be it a family or a political issue," said 38-year-old devotee Karthik.
Modi's proximity with the religious leaders have made the Hindutva organisations like Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) irrelevant in Gujarat.
"We never asked anyone to vote for the BJP. We only support the leader who speaks in favour of Hindus," said VHP president Kaushik Patel.
The state goes for vote on 13 and 17 December. The counting is scheduled on 20 December.
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Updated Date: Dec 07, 2012 14:29:04 IST