Gandhinagar : Madhusudan Mistry was born to his parents when they were staying in Kundanlal chawl in Asarwa area of Ahmedabad. His daughter Paulomi, testifies to his poverty steeped childhood in the Ahmedabad of the forties known as the Manchester of India for the over hundred textile mills that the city housed. Educated in the MS University of Vadodara, his first job was as a lecturer with the Navgujarat college in Ahmedabad.
He however soon switched to activism taking up the causes of the millworkers and other underprivileged classes and thereon to the tribals of north Gujarat. By the year 1995 he had established his hold in the tribal belt of the state and had become a power to reckon with. It was Shankersinh Vaghela who broke away from the BJP to form his own regional outfit post 1995, who brought him into active politics. With Vaghela folding up his regional entity and merging it into the Congress, Mistry also went along and has never looked back thereafter.
Mistry’s rise seems to have coincided with the waning influence of Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor, Ahmed Patel in the party. Highly placed sources within the Congress say that ticket aspirants for the 2014 general elections who queued up at his doorsteps have been told that he may not be able to help them. Patel was known to wield decisive say in the selection of candidates not only in Gujarat but in other states as well. This time he has been entrusted with the task of choosing a strong candidate from his own old constituency of Bharuch. Sources say that Patel is under pressure to contest from Bharuch himself but is resisting it. He is reported to be trying to persuade former leader of the Congress opposition in the Vidhan Sabha, Shaktisinh Gohil to contest from Bharuch but the latter is not inclined to. Shaktisinh was defeated by BJP leader Purshottam Solanki in the 2012 Vidhan Sabha elections. It was a strategic ploy of chief minister Modi to get rid of one of his most bitter opponents who was proving a thorn in his flesh by bringing out acts of omission and commission. With by-election to seven Vidhan Sabha seats in Gujarat falling due, Gohil may likely be asked to contest from Abadasa in Kutch where Congress MLA Chabbil Patel resigned and joined the BJP. The Congress wants to teach Chhabil a lesson and at the same time use his legislative prowess and knowledge of the innards of the Modi government to good use.
R K MISRA
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