Surat: Mahesh Savani, a Surat-based businessman and a social worker, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday in presence of Delhi Deputy Chief minister Manish Sisodia. Ahead of the state assembly elections in Gujarat, the ruling party in Delhi is aiming to defeat BJP in Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s home state.
Mahesh Savani, a Patidar figure, owns several educational institutes. A top realtor from Surat, Savani was arrested in 2020 on allegations of extortion and kidnapping. He was accused of kidnapping Gautam Patel (65) from his house and demanding Rs 19 crore for his release.
Patel’s business partner, Gautam Patel, who is now deceased, had allegedly borrowed money from Savani for an infrastructure project. Patel who was liable to pay Rs 3 crore could not do so, hence offered 60 per cent share in a plot of land. Savani could not recover his money and allegedly hatched a plan to kidnap Patel when he arrived in India for his son’s marriage. Savani is also known to organise mass weddings of orphaned girls.
Savani has a diploma in civil engineering and his father Vallabhbhai, who came to Surat from Saurashtra many years ago and joined the diamond business, became known in Surat as Vallabh Topi. Vallabhbhai made a fortune from his diamond business in Surat to real estate. Today, he manages the PP Savani Group which operates in the business sector, including diamond, education, hospital and real estate.
After making inroads in civic body elections by winning 27 out of 120 seats, the AAP is planning to out the BJP in Gujarat. AAP national convenor and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that the party will contest all seats in the Gujarat assembly elections to be held next year.