Express news service : Rajkot
Rebel BJP MLA from Mahuva Dr Kanu Kalsaria, who successfully spearheaded an agitation of farmers against the Nirma group’s proposed cement plant at Mahuva in Bhavnagar, was seriously injured along with three others when the car they were travelling in ran into a tree near Vallbhipur in Bhavnagar district early Tuesday morning.
Dr Kalsaria and his injured aides were shifted to Sir Taktsinhji civil hospital in Bhavanagar. The three others injured were identified as Bauchand Dhamelia, a prominent farmer leader who is reported to be very serious, one Kirpalsinh and Raju Magan, the driver.
Hours later, Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who has been under fire from the rebel BJP MLA, tweeted he had spoken to Dr Kalsaria’s family. “Heard about the accident of Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria. Speaking to his family, got to know he is out of danger. Hope he gets back to normal soon,” the CM tweeted.
According to reports, Modi is likely to visit Dr Kalsaria, who has sustained injuries on head, face and waist.
Dhamelia, his close associate in Mahuva agitation and a respected farmer leader who was the executive president of Gujarat Khedut Sangh before Dr Kalsaria took over last year, is reportedly critical.
“Dhamelia has been put on ventilator. Next 24 hours will be crucial,” said a confidant of Dr Kalsaria.
Meanwhile, Vallbhipur police said the accident occurred around 1.30 am, soon after Dr Kalsaria’s car left a gas station after refuelling. As they had come a long way from Bharuch, Kirpalsinh, another close associate of Dr Kalsaria, took over the steering to give driver Raju a break.
The police said the car, Swift Desire, ran into a tree soon after. The car was mangled. The staff at the gas station ran to rescue the injured and called up emergency ambulance, which later shifted all injured to the Bhavnagar civil hospital.
According to an associate of Dr Kalsaria, a tyre bust led to the mishap. However, another report doing the rounds said the driver tried to avoid a collision with a speeding truck coming from opposite direction and hit the tree.
After Mahuva agitation, Dr Kalsaria, supported by various farmer groups and leaders, had also begun similar protests in Saurashtra-Kutch and South Gujarat.