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Surat BJP Nominee Declared Elected Unopposed, First seat to BJP in Lok Sabha

Surat BJP Nominee Declared Elected Unopposed, First seat to BJP in Lok Sabha

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, Apr 22: The BJP has won the first seat in the Lok Sabha when its candidate for the Surat seat in Gujarat Mukesh Dalal was declared elected unopposed after the returning officer rejected the nominations of the Congress rival and his cover candidate and all the other eight candidates, seven of them independents, withdrew their nominations on the last day of withdrawal of nominations on Monday.

Mr Dalal was handed over the elected certificate by the district returning officer Saurabh Parghi. There will be no voting in Surat on May 7 when all the 26 constituencies in Gujarat go to polls.

The nominations of the Congress party’s Surat candidate Nilesh Kumbhani and his substitute Suresh Padsala were rejected by the district returning officer over alleged discrepancies in paperwork, particularly the signatures of the proposers, a development that the Congress called an attempt at “match-fixing.”

“Surat has presented the first lotus to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I congratulate our candidate for Surat Lok Sabha seat Mukesh Dalal for getting elected unopposed,” Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil, himself a candidate in the neighbouring Navsari constituency, posted on the microblogging website X.

Eight candidates – seven of them independents – and Pyarelal Bharti of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) withdrew their papers. The returning officer had said the four nomination forms submitted by the two Congress candidates did not appear genuine. The proposers, in their affidavits, had said they had not signed the forms themselves, the returning officer said in the order.

Congress lawyer Babu Mangukiya said the party would approach the high court and the Supreme Court for relief.

Shortly after Mr Dalal was declared elected from Surat, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the “true face of the dictator” is once again in front of the country. “Tanashah ki asli ‘Surat’ ek baar phir desh ke saame hai! (The true face of the dictator is once again in front of the country!)” Gandhi said in a post on X.

Taking away the right of the people to choose their leader is another step towards destroying the Constitution of Baba Saheb Ambedkar,” he added, asserting that the ongoing Lok Sabha elections were not just to form a government but an election to “save the country” and to “protect the Constitution.”

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh alleged that the BJP was indulging in “match-fixing” the Surat Lok Sabha polls, which he said they have won consistently since 1984 Lok Sabha elections.

In a tweet on X, Jairam Ramesh said, “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!” “Our elections, our democracy, Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution – all are under a generational threat. This is the most important election of our lifetime!” Ramesh posted.



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