BJP Clinches Surat Lok Sabha Seat Unopposed Before Voting

Khushbu Kumari Jha
BJP Clinches Surat Lok Sabha Seat Unopposed Before Voting
BJP Clinches Surat Lok Sabha Seat Unopposed Before Voting

How the Bharatiya Janata Party secured victory unopposed in the Surat Lok Sabha seat as the Congress candidate’s nomination was invalidated, stirring controversy ahead of the elections.

As the Lok Sabha elections unfold in various phases across the nation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has secured a significant victory without even a single vote being cast. Mukesh Dalal, the BJP candidate, has been declared the winner unopposed from the Surat Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat. The seat was secured by the BJP after the nomination of the Congress candidate was invalidated, leading to the withdrawal of nominations by other contenders.

The turn of events unfolded when the returning officer nullified the nomination of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani due to apparent discrepancies in the signatures of his proposers. Subsequently, the nomination papers of Suresh Padsala, nominated as an alternative candidate by the Congress, were also rejected. On the final day for withdrawal of nominations, eight candidates, including Pyarelal Bharti of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and several independents, withdrew their nominations.

The cancellation of the nomination forms of both Congress candidates was based on prima facie evidence of irregularities in the signatures of their proposers, which were deemed to be not genuine by the returning officer, Saurabh Pardhi. Shockingly, all three proposers of Nilesh Kumbhani were revealed to be his close relatives, with one being his brother-in-law, another his nephew, and the third a trusted business associate.

Despite being given a day to respond to the allegations, Nilesh Kumbhani failed to produce any of the purported signatories before the election officer. The absence of the alleged signatories was also noted in the video footage examined at the request of Kumbhani's legal counsel. However, the Congress party has alleged that the proposers were abducted.

In response to the accusations, Congress has claimed that the cancellation of Nilesh Kumbhani's nomination was orchestrated by the BJP and has vowed to challenge the decision in the High Court. Meanwhile, BJP's Gujarat unit president, C.R. Patil, celebrated the victory on social media, hailing it as the presentation of the first lotus to Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Surat. The BJP had previously swept all 26 seats in Gujarat during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, solidifying its dominance in the state, the home turf of Prime Minister Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.