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Rajkot Lok Sabha elections 2024: Union Minister Parshottam Rupala to challenge Congress' Paresh Dhanani

Hot seats in Lok Sabha Elections 2024: All 26 seats of Gujarat go to the polls in a single phase on May 7. Parshottam Rupala, whose remarks on Kshatriyas have sparked massive protests by the Rajput community, filed his nomination papers on April 16 following a 2 km-long roadshow.

Edited By: Sheenu Sharma @20sheenu Rajkot Published on: April 20, 2024 17:50 IST
Lok Sabha elections, gujarat lok sabha election 2024, Rajkot Lok Sabha elections 2024, bjp, Parshott
Image Source : INDIA TV Rajkot Lok Sabha elections 2024: Union Minister Parshottam Rupala to challenge Congress' Paresh Dhanani in Gujarat.

Rajkot Lok Sabha elections 2024: Gujarat Congress leader Paresh Dhanani has announced his decision to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024 from Rajkot, and this equation has made the constituency an important seat.

This announcement comes in response to the continued candidacy of Union Cabinet Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Parshottam Rupala, amid growing discontent over his controversial remarks about Kshatriyas.

Dhanani, who previously served as the Leader of the Opposition in the Gujarat Legislative Assembly, likened Rupala's comments to the disrobing of Draupadi in the Mahabharata, highlighting the perceived insult to the Kshatriya community. Despite initial hesitations, senior Congress leaders persuaded Dhanani to enter the fray, setting the stage for a high-stakes electoral battle.

Dhanani defeated Rupala in the 2002 Assembly elections for the Amreli constituency.

Who is BJP candidate Parshottam Rupala?

On the other side, the BJP’s Rupala, a member of the Patidar community and current Union Agriculture Minister, has been facing severe backlash from the Kshatriya community. This dissent stems from his remarks concerning historical inter-faith marriages between Maharajas and Mughals.

Despite apologising and engaging with community leaders, the agitation against him continues growing. The conflict peaked on April 15, when over 1,50,000 Kshatriya community members from Gujarat and neighboring states rallied in Rajkot.

The 'Kshatriya Maha Semmelan’ remained peaceful but resolute, in its demand for the BJP to withdraw Rupala's candidacy. Rupala's political journey began with his leadership as President of the Amreli District BJP from 1988 to 1991, which led to his elevation as the party's state Secretary in 1992.

Over the years, he served multiple terms as a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for the Amreli constituency between 1991 and 2002.

His ministerial appointments have included roles in the Narmada Development, Water Resources and Water Supply, and Agriculture and Co-op departments, where he was instrumental in advancing development initiatives.

The Congress hopes to capitalise on this unrest, positioning Dhanani as a candidate who can unify and represent the diverse interests of the constituency. As Rajkot prepares for the Lok Sabha polls scheduled for May 7, all eyes are on this high-profile contest that could shift the political dynamics in this key Gujarat constituency.

When will Gujarat vote?

All 26 seats of Gujarat go to the polls in a single phase on May 7. 

ALSO READ: Barmer Lok Sabha Elections: Ravindra Singh Bhati to give tough fight to BJP, Congress in poll battle

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