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Rediff.com  » News » If my unopposed election is death of...: Surat winner

If my unopposed election is death of...: Surat winner

By Parag Dave
April 25, 2024 11:07 IST
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'The Congress is solely responsible for the situation that has arisen in Surat' 

IMAGE: BJP candidate from Surat Mukesh Dalal, left, with Gujarat president C R. Patil. Photograph: @janak_bagdana/X

Surat MP-elect Mukesh Dalal, Bharatiya Janata Party's first candidate to be declared winner unopposed, has asked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi if the election of several other parliamentarians in the past without poll battle amounted to "death" of the Constitution.

In an interview with PTI on Wednesday, Dalal said the first lotus (BJP's poll symbol) has already bloomed in Surat during the ongoing elections and dedicated his win to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership.

This is the first step towards realising the PM's resolve of the NDA crossing the 400 Lok Sabha seat-mark, said the maiden candidate from the BJP to have ever won a parliamentary poll unopposed.

Dalal on Monday became the first candidate in the last 12 years to have won a Lok Sabha election unopposed after all other nominees withdrew from the fray.

The candidature of Congress' Nilesh Kumbhani was rejected a day earlier after the district returning officer prima facie found discrepancies in the signature of the proposers.

This is the first victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the ongoing seven-phase Lok Sabha polls.

Asked if his uncontested win deprived the people of Surat of their right to vote and select their representative, Dalal claimed the Congress was solely responsible for this situation.

 

After Dalal's win, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had in a post on X said, “Taking away the right of the people to choose their leader is another step towards destroying the Constitution of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. The ongoing Lok Sabha elections are not just to form a government but an election to save the country and to protect the Constitution.”

On the Wayanad MP's comments, Dalal said, “I want to tell Rahul Gandhi, as per my information 28 MPs belonging to the Congress and other opposition parties have been so far declared elected unopposed. If my unopposed election is death of the Constitution, then was their election unopposed not death of democracy or death of the Constitution?"

“Secondly, I want to say that people of the entire country and Surat have not forgotten the insult of Modi community by Rahul Gandhi who had said that all Modis are thieves," Dalal mentioned.

The people of Surat were ready to take revenge by making the Congress candidate lose his deposit in the Lok Sabha polls, he said.

Fearing a loss of face, the Congress candidate sought backdoor exit from the race,” claimed Dalal, who belongs to same Modh Baniya Ganchi community as PM Modi.

“The Congress is solely responsible for the situation that has arisen in Surat," he said.

Dalal, who was earlier a corporator in the Surat Municipal Corporation, claimed the Congress allowed filing of nomination form in an irresponsible way and could not find three genuine proposers for its candidate.

"The Congress does not have four loyal workers who can be proposers, and the leader of that party wants to be the country's prime minister. If you think about the situation why people cannot vote here, the only responsible party is Congress,” he said.

On allegations that the BJP was responsible for the rejection of Kumbhani's nomination form, Dalal said Surat is his party's stronghold since 1989.

"The BJP wanted to fight election in this seat with full force and party workers were ready to defeat the Congress candidate and even make him lose his deposit. Scared of the prospect of losing his deposit, the Congress candidate sought a backdoor exit to save his face," he claimed.

Dalal said after his candidature was announced, the party started an extensive campaign in Surat.

"We covered 70 per cent of the constituency in our campaign. We had public meetings in every assembly segment of the Lok Sabha constituency. The only disappointment for our party workers is that we had set the target of winning the seat by a margin of seven lakh votes, but now no election will take place,” he said.

“First lotus has bloomed in Surat in the Lok Sabha polls. We dedicate this victory to PM Modi. This is our small step towards realising Prime Minister Modi's resolve of ‘aabki bar, 400 par',” said Dalal.

The BJP leader said after the win, his priority will be to ensure smooth completion of the ongoing infrastructure projects, like the international airport for Surat, Metro rail, redevelopment of Surat railway station and bullet train project.

"I will help in resolving issues related to the textile and diamond industry of Surat,” he added.

Meanwhile, a resident of Surat expressed unhappiness over being denied the right to decide who will be their MP.

Udhna area resident Dimple Patel said, “This development seems like political parties have got together and colluded to decide who will be the Surat MP. What about voters? Are we to decide or they? Why have we been kept out of the election process?”

The Congress on Tuesday claimed Kumbhani had gone incommunicado, amid rumours that he might join the BJP soon.

Kumbhani had served as a Congress corporator in the Surat Municipal Corporation. He unsuccessfully fought the 2022 assembly polls on Congress' ticket from Kamrej seat in Surat.

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Parag Dave
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
 
India Votes 2024

India Votes 2024