Internet ban in Gujarat on Sunday: Local admin denies links to Kejriwal’s Surat rally


The Gujarat government has decided to impose internet ban on Sunday between 10 am and 2 pm fearing paper leaks during exams for government jobs.

Incidentally, the same day Delhi chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, will also hold a mega rally in Surat as part of his four-day trip to the state.

internet ban

Aam Aadmi Party supporters believe the decision on internet ban is directly linked to their leader’s scheduled rally in Surat. But, the local administration has rubbished the links with the AAP leader’s public gathering.

Surat DM, MS Patel, told, “This is ridiculous. The internet ban is effective only between 10 am and 2 pm, while Kejriwal’s rally is planned for 6 pm. Our decision was to prevent the students from using WhatsApp to leak the exam papers. And by the way, Kejriwal is addressing his rally in Surat, you tell me why we have imposed similar ban in Ahmedabad and Bhavnagar and other cities in Gujarat. The charges are rubbish.

Local journalist Janak Dave was the first to tweet about the local administration’s decision. His tweet, as expected, has been widely shared by AAP supporters, who suspected a sabotage behind the decision.

Delhi’s deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, posted a tweet announcing his party’s deicison to challenge the long rule of the BJP in the state.

He wrote, “This will be first time Gujarat will witness a real exam. Up until now, they (BJP) use to come first by running alone in the race.”

Kejriwal’s Gujarat visit assumes significance in light of talks of a secret tie-up with the popular Patidar leader, Hardik Patel.

Hardik, according to a report by NDTV, has agreed support the Delhi chief minister and a formal announcement was imminent anytime.

“Just like any other political party we are in touch with local leaders who want to work for the people. We have approached Hardik and he has assured all support to AAP,” the channel quoted a top party leader.

Gujarat government is known to take harsh measures against its political rivals to quell dissent or scuttle its impact.

Last year, the then chief minister, Anandiben Patel, had ordered brutal crackdown on people taking part in peaceful protests by Patodar community led by Hardik Patel.

The crackdown had left dozens of people dead even as the state’s BJP government invoked sedition charges against Hardik.

As per the schedule of Kejriwal’s visit released by AAP’s Gujarat unit earlier this week, Kejriwal would spend four days in the state, beginning Friday.

Kejriwal’s visit comes as part of AAP’s preparations for the Assembly polls in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, due next year.


Kejriwal will address a rally in Surat on 16 October, before leaving for Delhi on October 17 afternoon.

Meanwhile, the BJP has termed Kejriwal’s “goodwill gesture” for Patels, a decisive vote-bank in Gujarat, as a “political stunt and a drama.”

“Kejriwal and his AAP is known for spreading lies and enacting drama. His only intention is to gain publicity. That is why he is doing such stunts. But people of Gujarat will not be carried away with such tactics and he will never be accepted here,” state unit BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said in a statement.

Slamming Kejriwal, state BJP chief Jitu Vaghani alleged that the AAP leader is creating tension in Gujarat by raking up past incidents.

“This is purely casteist politics. By visiting Patel families, Kejriwal wants to rake up issues of the past for his political gains and wants to create tension in Gujarat. But, he will never succeed in his intentions,” said Vaghani