Friday, May 24, 2024

Surat: Congress candidate’s nomination rejected, others ‘forced’ to withdraw, BJP candidate elected unopposed

BJP’s Mukesh Dalal has been elected unopposed from the Surat Lok Sabha seat on April 22, after nomination papers of the Congress party’s candidate Nilesh Kumbhani were rejecte and all other candidates withdrew their nomination papers.

On the last day of withdrawal of the nomination forms today, as many as eight candidates, Pyarelal Bharti of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Independents withdrew their papers. Opposition alleged that the candidates were forced to withdraw due to the ruling Hindu nationalist party’s threats and warnings.

A day earlier, nomination papers of the Congress party’s candidate Nilesh Kumbhani were rejected over alleged discrepancies in the signatures of proposers in the form.

“Surat District Election Officer rejects Congress’ candidate for Surat Lok Sabha, Nilesh Kumbhani’s nomination for ‘discrepancies in verification of signatures of three proposers’.
On similar grounds, officials reject the nomination of Suresh Padsala, the INC’s substitute candidate from Surat. Congress Party is left without a candidate,” said Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh.

“The distress and anger faced by MSME owners and businesspeople in Modi’s Anyay Kaal has spooked the BJP so badly that they are attempting to “match-fix” Surat Lok Sabha, which they have won consistently since 1984 Lok Sabha elections!,” said Ramesh.

“Our elections, our democracy, Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution – all are under a generational threat. This is the most important election of our lifetime,” he added.

BJP leaders were quick to take to social media to congratulate Dalal as State BJP president C.R. Paatil wrote on X (formerly, Twitter), “Surat [has] offered first lotus to Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi.” Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel also in a post on X congratulated Dalal.

Gujarat Congress chief Shaktisinh Gohil said the Congress will file a petition in the Gujarat High Court against the Returning Officer’s decision to cancel the nomination form of the party candidate Nilesh Kumbhani over alleged discrepancies in the signatures of proposers in the form.

The BJP is rattled as it has realised that the situation is not favourable for them this time (in elections). It hatched a conspiracy to get the forms of Congress candidates cancelled by hook or by crook. Kumbhani was their target ever since he filed his nomination form because BJP sensed defeat in Surat seat,” Gohil said. He alleged that attempts were also made to threaten Kumbhani.

Voting for all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held in the third phase on May 7. The last date for filing the nomination was April 19.

The Congress and AAP are fighting the Gujarat Lok Sabha polls in alliance. The Congress has fielded candidates on 24 of 26 seats, while AAP is contesting from Bhavnagar and Bharuch.

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