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For farmers in Mahuva, Kalsaria is their Gandhi

on March 13, 2011

The BJP is not known to tolerate dissidence, but for the last two-and-a-half years the party hasn’t taken any action against its own MLA from Mahuva Kanu Kalsaria. This despite him spearheading a farmers’ protest against Nirma setting up a cement factory on a wetland in the region.
This 55-year-old practising surgeon even floated his own outfit in the recent panchayat polls called Sadbhavna Seva Samiti and fielded candidates against the BJP. The samiti won nine seats and captured the Mahuva taluka panchayat in Bhavnagar with the support of the Congress. The show-cause notice issued by ministry of environment and forests to Nirma on Saturday is seen as a major victory for Kalsaria and his supporters.
Kalsaria runs a charitable hospital called Sadbhavnna Trust Hospital at Vadli, 5 km from Mahuva. An OBC, he was first elected as a BJP MLA in 1998 by defeating one of the Congress’ biggest leaders of the time Chhabildas Mehta.
A staunch believer of Gandhian values, Kalsaria has always stood by what he has considered to be the truth and raised his voice against injustice. He began opposing the Nirma cement plant when local farmers asked him to intervene. The agitation has remained non-violent throughout. Political analysts say if the BJP has not been able to curb Kalsaria it is because of his integrity. Not surprisingly, the locals call him ‘Gandhi’.


Vijaysinh Parmar | TNN


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