Surat: In a last-minute change to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign schedule in poll-bound Gujarat, the BJP switched the venue of his Surat rally to the outskirts of the city.
While the party said the move was “purely logistical”, sources told News18 that the Intelligence Bureau had warned of a possible agitation by Patidar’s at the earlier venue.
The rally was supposed to be held in Kamrej inside Surat city but will now be held in Kadodra, 20 kilometres outside the city limits. Surat has been the epicentre of the anti-BJP Patidar protest and traders’ unrest over GST in the past few months.
On Sunday, the party had rushed union finance minister Arun Jaitley to Surat to speak to traders. In an interview with CNN-News 18 after his visit, Jaitley brushed aside any GST related unrest in the state.
“There was no fear of the GST in the trader community of Surat. The Congress had inflicted on this country one of the most retrograde tax systems. We have reformed and improved it. We have converted India into a big market,” he said.
“We have simplified the procedures… in fact, the traders were very happy about the fact that the government has become responsive. They have made a few more suggestions which we are positively going to consider,” Jaitley added.
PM Modi held two rallies in Bhuj and Rajkot in the morning. Apart from Surat, he is scheduled to hold another rally in Dhari town of Amreli district.-News18