Spooked by anger of MSME owners, BJP attempted match-fixing in Surat LS seat: Congress

05:31 PM Apr 22, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Congress on Monday claimed the BJP was frightened by the anger of MSME owners and the business community and attempted “match-fixing” even in the Surat Lok Sabha seat which the ruling party has been winning since 1984.


The BJP’s Mukesh Dalal was on Monday elected unopposed from Surat after all other candidates withdrew from the fray while the candidature of the Congress’ Nilesh Kumbhani was rejected a day earlier after the district returning officer prima facie found discrepancies in the signature of the proposers.

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

Reacting to the development, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh claimed that democracy is under threat.

“‘Aap chronology samajhiye’ (Understand the chronology): Surat District Election Officer rejects the Congress’ candidate for Surat Lok Sabha Nilesh Kumbhani’s nomination for ‘discrepancies in the verification of signatures of three proposers’. On similar grounds, officials reject the nomination of Suresh Padsala, the INC’s substitute candidate from Surat. The Congress is left without a candidate,” he said on ‘X’.


“All other candidates withdraw their nomination except the BJP’s candidate, Mukesh Dalal. The BJP candidate declared ‘elected unopposed’ from Surat Lok Sabha seat on April 22, 2024, nearly two weeks before polling on May 7, 2024,” Ramesh added.

He claimed that the “distress” of micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) owners and the business community in PM Narendra Modi’s

“Anyay Kaal” and their anger have “spooked the BJP so badly that they are attempting to ‘match-fix’ Surat Lok Sabha, which they have won consistently since the 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 said on X.

“I declare that Mukeshkumar Chandrakant Dalal, sponsored by the BJP, has been duly elected to fill the seat in the House from Surat parliamentary constituency,” district collector cum election officer Saurabh Pardhi told media persons as he handed over the Certificate of Election to Dalal.

Gujarat unit BJP president C R Paatil in a post on X said, “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.”

In the 2019 polls, BJP won all 26 constituencies in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.


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