Drama over Cong’s RS nomination in Gujarat


The scrutiny process of eight candidates for the elections of four Rajya Sabha (RS) seats in Gujarat turned into high voltage political drama over the legitimacy issue of former Union Minister Naran Rathwa’s nomination form on Tuesday at Gujarat Assembly complex.

It took hours for the Congress party to convince returning officer following objections from ruling BJP over the validity of Rathwa’s form. Hundreds of supporters, including that of MLAs from both the party waited outside the chamber of Returning Officer (RO) till the form finally accepted by the election authority late in the evening.

Of the total eight candidates, one nomination form of an Independent Paresh Moolani was rejected by RO as it was not backed by statutory proposers. Apart from Rathwa, forms of three candidates from BJP–Parashottam Rupala, Mansukh Mandavia and Kiritsinh Rana as well as Congress candidate Ami Yagnik were accepted. Two other forms of independent candidates Rajni Patel backed by BJP and PK Valera too were accepted.

Reacting on the drama created over Rathwa’s nomination form senior Congress leader Shanktisinh Gohil said that eventually truth prevailed. Gohil said that if the ruling party didn’t believe in democracy, if they would have respected democratic value, long hours wouldn’t be wasted in arguments.

The seeds of drama in fact planted on Monday immediately after Rathwa filed his nomination. It was found that he was missing some papers and was able to file his nomination papers just few minutes ahead of 3.00 pm deadline.

As expected within few minutes of beginning of scrutiny procedure on Tuesday BJP objected the validity of certain documents submitted by the Congress candidate and tribal leader Rathwa.

The BJP stated that there seemed discrepancy in ‘No Due Certificate’ submitted by the former Minister of State for Railways in the previous Congress led UPA Government. Senior BJP leader including Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani and Gujarat Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja argued for rejection of Rathwa’s nomination as Congress candidate.

On the other hand Congress leaders Gohil as well as Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Paresh Dhanani had to toil hard in order to convince RO over the legitimacy of Rathwa’s nomination. It is worth mentioning that in the last RS polls in August 2017, Gohil played crucial role to ensure Ahmed Patel’s victory. On Tuesday the advocate by profession did it again for his party.

In its counter strategy Congress too raised objections over nominations of three BJP candidates – Union ministers Mandavia and Rupala, as well as Kiritsinh Rana. However, the Returning Officer had turned down Congress objections and accepted their nomination forms. Deadline to withdraw nominations will end on Thursday evening and if there would be more than four candidates, the elections will be held on March 23.



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