Gujarat Assembly elections: After being denied tickets for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, several BJP leaders in the state have turned rebels and threatened to contest as independents. According to reports, one sitting MLA and at least four former legislators have expressed their intention to go to the poll battle as independents.
While some of these disgruntled leaders have stated that they will consult their supporters before taking any further action, former BJP MLA and the party's well-known tribal face Harshad Vasava already filed his nomination papers as an independent from the Nandod seat.
Vasava, who currently serves as the president of the Gujarat BJP's Scheduled Tribe Morcha, formerly held the Rajpipla seat from 2002 to 2007 and again from 2007 to 2012.
Harshad Vasava files his nomination for Nandod seat
Congress presently controls Nandod in the Narmada district. Meanwhile, the BJP announced to field Dr Darshana Deshmukh from the seat for the upcoming polls. Vasava filed his nomination papers for the Nandod seat on Friday after resigning from his position in the BJP due to his dissatisfaction with the announcement.
"There is an original BJP and a duplicate BJP here. We will expose those who have side-lined committed workers and given key posts to newcomers. I have sent my resignation to the party. People of this area know how much work I have done as an MLA between 2002 and 2012," Vasava told reporters after filing his nomination as an independent.
In the neighbouring Vadodara district, one sitting and two former BJP MLAs are up in arms against the party after being denied tickets.
Veteran BJP MLA threatens to contest as an independent
Six-time MLA Madhu Shrivastav from Vaghodia, who has been denied a ticket, said he will contest as an independent if his supporters want him to. he The BJP has fielded Ashwin Patel from the seat.
Another former BJP MLA Dinesh Patel aka Dinu Mama of Padra seat in Vadodara district has also said he would contest the election independently. The BJP has given the ticket to Chaitanyasinh Zala. The seat is held by Congress.
In Karjan, former BJP MLA Satish Patel is unhappy after the BJP decided to repeat sitting legislator Akshay Patel. Akshay Patel had won on the Congress ticket from seat in 2017. He joined the BJP in 2020 and won the subsequent bypoll.
BJP takes the damage-control route
In a damage control exercise, state BJP general secretary Bhargav Bhatt and Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi on Saturday visited Vadodara and met local party workers. He also exuded confidence that the BJP will win all the seats of Vadodara.
Notably, the BJP has so far named candidates for 166 Assembly seats out of the total 182. Elections for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
(With inputs from PTI)
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