Cracking the whip, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Gujarat on Tuesday suspended 12 party leaders, including 6-term MLA Madhu Shrivastav and two former legislators, for filing nominations as independent candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections after they were denied tickets.
The development came days after seven BJP leaders were suspended for filing nominations as independent candidates for the first phase of Assembly polls to be held on December 1.
Now, 12 more leaders, who are contesting against official candidates in Assembly seats that will go to polls in the second phase on December 5, have been suspended by Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil, said a release by the state unit of the party.
Notably, November 21 was the last date to withdraw nominations for the 93 seats that will vote in the second phase. None of the BJP rebels opted out of the poll race, inviting disciplinary action from the party.
These leaders, who will now fight against BJP candidates on 11 seats of north and central Gujarat, include sitting MLA of Vaghodia (Vadodara district) Madhu Shrivastav.
Former MLA of Padra, Dinu Patel and ex-MLA of Bayad, Dhavalsinh Zala, were also among the 12 who were punished by the party.
Others include Kuldipsinh Raul (Savli), Khatubhai Pagi (Shehra), SM Khant (Lunawada), JP Patel (Lunawada), Ramesh Zala (Umreth), Amarshi Zala (Khambhat), Ramsinh Thakor (Kheralu), Mavji Desai (Dhanera) and Lebji Thakor (Deesa constituency).
1,621 Candidates In Fray For Gujarat Assembly Elections:
A total of 1,621 candidates are left in the fray for the next month’s Gujarat Assembly elections after the deadline for the withdrawal of nominations got over, an official said on Tuesday.
Elections to the 182-member Assembly would be held in two phases on December 1 and 5.
For the 93 seats where elections would be held in the second phase, there are 833 candidates in the fray, said a release from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer.
The last day of withdrawal for the second phase was Monday.
As many as 788 candidates are in the fray for 89 seats that will go to the polls in the first phase of elections, the release added.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded candidates on all 182 seats, while Congress has fielded candidates on 179 seats while it allocated three seats to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as part of a pre-poll alliance.
But with the NCP candidate withdrawing his nomination for Devgadh Baria seat, the party is contesting two seats.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also fielded candidates on all 182 seats, but its candidates withdrew his nomination from the Surat East seat, so it will end up contesting 181 seats.
All Indian Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) fielded candidates in 14 Assembly seats but its candidates withdrew from Bapunagar seat.
Constituencies in the districts of Saurashtra-Kutch region and south Gujarat will go to the polls in the first phase. These districts are Valsad, Tapi, Dang, Navsari, Surat, Bharuch, Narmada, Botad, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Junagadh, Porbandar, Devbhumi Dwarka, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Morbi, Surendranagar and Kutch.
In the second phase, seats in the districts of central and north Gujarat, that is, Banaskantha, Patan, Mehsana, Sabarkantha, Aravalli, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Anand, Kheda, Mahisagar, Panchmahal, Dahod, Vadodara and Chhota Udepur will go to the polls.
(This story is published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)