Gandhinagar BJP in Gujarat, the Lok Sabha constituency represented by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, plans to hold cricket and kabaddi tournaments under the Gandhinagar Loksabha Premier League 370, or GLPL label. 370, to “attract as many young people as possible to the party,” local leaders said.
According to Jitubhai Patel, general secretary of the Ahmedabad city BJP unit, the league is named after Article 370, “which was repealed in 2019 under the leadership of Amit Shah,” and it is expected to launch tournaments in mid-December.
Harshad Patel, who is the head of the BJP for Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, said Indian express: “The demonstrations were organized to make the (young) voters, whose names appear on the electoral list, pro-BJP. For this, cricket and kabaddi were selected. The aim is to have at least two teams in each quarter (one for cricket and one for kabaddi).
Harshad Patel said: “Home Secretary Amit Shah first discussed this (idea) with about 8-10 of us in the party.” Subsequently, he said, a meeting of 200 to 250 party workers was called and various responsibilities were assigned.
For example, Gujarat MoS Jagdish Vishwakarma, who organized the Karnavati Premier League (KPL) for cricket in Ahmedabad five years ago, was tasked with planning the tournaments. Moreover, Amit Shah inaugurated the KPL in 2016.
BJP State Unit Secretary General Pradipsinh Vaghela said: “A whole team from Lok Sabha constituency is involved. The plan is to hold one kabaddi tournament for the entire constituency and seven cricket tournaments, one for each of its seven assembly segments. Team registration is already underway.
The seven assembly segments are Vejalpur, Ghatlodia, Naranpura, Sabarmati, Kalol, Gandhinagar (North) and Sanand. Lok Sabha constituency has around 1,800 booths in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, and local BJP officials have been given responsibilities ranging from identifying teams, venues and commentators to making the rules.
The league is currently open to men only, and cricket matches will be played with tennis balls on grounds leased from local private owners, BJP executives said. Advertising for the tournament is mostly done through neighborhood-level WhatsApp groups, they said.
Shah had been associated with the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) since 2007 and played a key role in ending the 16-year reign of Congressional leaders in state unity. Shah was also vice-president of the GCA when the then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, was president. Shah’s son Jay Shah is the current secretary of BCCI.
“Based on Narendrabhai’s concept of motivating players via Khel Mahakumbh, Amitbhai organized this (cricket and kabaddi tournament). This is done thanks to his advice and motivation. By Wednesday we should be able to get the first batch of registered teams, ”said Jitubhai Patel, general secretary of the BJP unit in Ahmedabad city.