BJP candidate wins Surat Lok Sabha constituency unopposed after 8 contenders withdraw | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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BJP candidate wins Surat Lok Sabha constituency unopposed after 8 contenders withdraw

By, Ahmedabad
Apr 23, 2024 02:08 AM IST

The nomination of Congress candidate was rejected after the district returning officer prima facie found discrepancies in the signature of the proposers.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Mukesh Dalal was on Monday elected unopposed from Surat Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat after all other nominees withdrew from the fray, over a fortnight before the state will vote on May 7 in the third phase of the general elections, making it the first electoral success for any political outfit in the ongoing polls.

BJP leader Mukesh Dalal receives the 'certificate of election' after he was elected unopposed from Surat Lok Sabha seat in Surat on April 22.(PTI)
BJP leader Mukesh Dalal receives the 'certificate of election' after he was elected unopposed from Surat Lok Sabha seat in Surat on April 22.(PTI)

The development came a day after nomination of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani was rejected after the district returning officer prima facie found discrepancies in the signature of the proposers. The party’s substitute candidate from the seat, Suresh Padsala, also had his nomination form rejected.

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“As all the candidates who had successfully filed their nomination forms for the Surat Lok Sabha seat have withdrawn their candidature, Dalal has been elected unopposed. We have handed over the election certificate to him,” district collector cum returning officer Sourabh Pardhi told HT over the phone.

Also Read | Nomination of Congress’ Surat candidate rejected as proposers claim ‘not signed’

Voting for all 26 Gujarat constituencies was schedule for May 7, but with the result of Surat seat already out, polling will now be held on 25 seats.

“Surat has offered the first lotus to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Congratulations to Surat Lok Sabha candidate Mukeshbhai Dalal for being elected unopposed,” Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil said in a post on X.

The filing of nominations for the third-phase elections started on April 15 and continued till April 19. On Monday, which was the last date for withdrawal of nominations, a total of eight candidates withdrew from the poll fray, with Bahujan Samaj Party’s Pyarelal Bharti being the last one to do so around 2 pm, the poll officer said. Besides Bharti, four independents and three nominees from smaller parties also withdrew their nomination papers on the last day.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Congress leaders on Monday met the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners and demanded that the election process in Surat be restarted, alleging that “wrong and undue influence” was being exerted. “This is the case of no election by complete subordination of the democratic will of several contestants and several proposals. It is a case of patent bad faith and undue pressure,” Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters in Delhi.

Singhvi alleged that in Surat, the Congress candidate was nominated by four proposals, “but, suddenly all four stood up and denied their signatures”.

In his order rejecting Congress candidates’ nominations, the returning officer said the four nomination forms submitted by Kumbhani and Padsala were rejected after prima facie discrepancies were found in the signatures of the proposers. In their affidavits, the proposers said they did not sign the forms themselves, Pardhi’s order mentioned. Khumbhani could not be reached for a comment.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi posted on X, “The dictator’s ‘asli surat’ (true face) is once again bared in front of the country.”

The BJP hit back, with Patil saying: “After such an embarrassing defeat (in Surat seat), the Congress should now be worried about losing their deposits in the Lok Sabha elections.”

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