MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Abracadabra! BJP gets Surat before polls as Congress candidate's nomination gets rejected

After the nominations of Congress's Nilesh Kumbhani and the substitute, Suresh Padsala, were rejected for discrepancies in the signature verification of the three proposers, seven remained in the fray. The rest withdrew their papers, leaving the field clear for Mukeshbhai Dalal

Anita Joshua New Delhi Published 23.04.24, 06:57 AM
BJP leader Mukesh Dalal (left), who was elected unopposed from the Surat Lok Sabha seat on Monday, with Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil.

BJP leader Mukesh Dalal (left), who was elected unopposed from the Surat Lok Sabha seat on Monday, with Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil. PTI picture

The BJP on Monday scored its first win of the 18th Lok Sabha elections after all the candidates left in the fray in Surat withdrew from the contest following the cancellation of the nomination papers of the Congress nominee and the substitute.

The BJP’s Gujarat president, C.R. Paatil, announced the unopposed election of Mukeshbhai Dalal from Surat, billing it the BJP’s first step in the march towards the 400-plus target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the ongoing general election.

ADVERTISEMENT

After the nominations of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani and the substitute, Suresh Padsala, were rejected for discrepancies in the signature verification of the three proposers, seven remained in the fray. Soon after the two nominations were rejected, the rest withdrew their papers, leaving the field clear for Dalal.

This is now being cited by the BJP’s detractors as the “new Gujarat model of elections”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi cited the Surat “election” as more evidence of the Modi government’s plans to finish the Constitution, linking it to the apprehension in various quarters that the BJP plans to do away with it in its next stint and the 400-plus target is to facilitate this move.

Stating that democracy is “under threat” and explaining the chronology, Congress media in-charge Jairam Ramesh appeared to link the development to the protests that the diamond city has seen in recent years.

“The distress and anger faced by MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) owners and business people in Modi’s Anyay Kaal has spooked the BJP so badly that they are attempting to ‘match-fix’ the Surat Lok Sabha, which they have won consistently since the 1984 Lok Sabha elections. Our elections, our democracy, Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution — all are under a generational threat. This is the most important election of our lifetime,” he said.

Yashwant Deshmukh, the founding editor of polling agency C-Voter, agreed with Ramesh.

“The BJP won the Surat Lok Sabha polling 75% votes in 2014 and 74% votes in the 2019 elections. It could have easily won the seat with similar numbers again as it remains a traditional stronghold. But that is not the case. Any ‘unopposed’ election is basically against the concept and spirit of democracy. Be it in the panchayat elections of Bengal, the Assembly elections of Arunachal or in this case a Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat. Extremely unfortunate and absolutely avoidable,” he said in a post on X.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT