23 Apr 2024

Lok Sabha Elections-2024: Will Congress Surat candidate Nilesh Kumbhani join BJP; big game after saffron party candidate Mukesh Dalal's unopposed victory

In the Lok Sabha elections-2024, Nilesh Kumbhani, the Congress candidate from Surat Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat, may join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Sources say he may join the BJP this week.

Reports from local media today indicate that Nilesh Kumbhani, a Congress leader from Surat, whose nomination for the Lok Sabha candidacy was rejected due to alleged discrepancies, is currently unreachable and missing. This development follows closely after Mukesh Dalal of the BJP was declared the victor in the BJP stronghold, as all opposing candidates withdrew from the contest.

Amidst reports of Nilesh soon joining the BJP, Congress workers are protesting. They held a demonstration  ouiitside Nilesh's locked house, calling him a traitor and a murderer of democracy.

After the cancellation of Congress candidates' nominations, the remaining 8 candidates also withdrew their nominations. In this situation, BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal was declared victorious unopposed. The Election Commission has also issued him a certificate of victory. This is the first time a BJP candidate has been elected uncontested in the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress has turned to the EC

After the uncontested victory of BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal in Surat Lok Sabha seat, Congress has turned to the Election Commission. Congress alleges that Mukesh Dalal was declared the winner through improper influence. Congress demands that elections be held anew on this seat. The party claims that BJP was afraid of the business community, which is why it attempted match-fixing on the Surat Lok Sabha seat.

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said, "We've formally requested the Election Commission to postpone the Surat election and conduct it anew promptly, sending a clear message that you cannot take advantage of this kind of wrong undue influence."

Singhvi alleged that in Surat, Congress candidate Kumbhani had been backed by four proposers, "yet suddenly, all four retracted their support and disavowed their signatures."

"This isn't a mere coincidence. The candidate went missing for hours, and upon resurfacing, we discovered that every other contender had withdrawn their candidacy. The returning officer ultimately rejected his nomination," he added.

Congress had also nominated its reserve candidate Suresh Padsala, but his nomination was also rejected due to objections by proposers.

Voting for all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat is scheduled for the third phase on May 7, for which the last date of nomination was April 19 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is April 22. A total of 11 candidates, including Congress and BJP, had filed their nominations for the Surat Lok Sabha seat. 

The BJP has held the Surat Lok Sabha seat since 1989. Prior to this, former Prime Minister Morarji Desai was a five-time MP from here.

Voting will take place on May 7 in all 26 constituencies of Gujarat, but after declaring the BJP candidate uncontested winner in the Surat seat, voting will now take place on the remaining 25 seats.

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