Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

Rumblings in Gujarat Congress

Rumblings in Gujarat Congress

The elections to the four Rajya Sabha seats took a new turn on Monday, the last day of filing nominations, when Rathwa's delay in filing papers led to the BJP fielding one more candidate, taking its total nominations to three. He claimed that senior BJP leaders had "brought in lawyers" to put pressure on the returning officer not to accept his nomination. "It's only BJP who can make an issue out of a non-issue", Gujarat Congress leader Shakti Singh Gohil said. However, Congress leaders rubbished it as a rumour and reiterated that the tribal leader would arrive to file his nomination.

The Samajwadi Party has 47 MLAs in the House, and can transfer 10 surplus votes to the BSP, which has declared its support to the SP candidates in the bypolls for Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats vacated by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya. Its workers and leaders are not happy with their leadership.

Reports also suggested that the party had made a decision to replace Rathwa with Shukla at the instructions of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. After the names were announced, Gujarat Women Congress chief Sonal Patel resigned. This would leave the party with 18 surplus votes. Each nominee requires 44 votes to win.

However, Rathwa denied the allegations. My documents according to requirements were submitted. We were waiting for the attested voter list of the mamlatdar to be attached with my nomination.

Meanwhile, the BJP has reportedly chose to field Rajiv Chandrashekar, who hails from Kerla, as its candidate due to pressure from the RSS.

The party nominated three candidates from Karnataka, including Dalit poet L Hanumanthaiah and Vokkalinga leader GC Chandrasekhar. These include central ministers Parsottam Rupala and Mansukh Mandaviya as well as Kiritsinh Rana from BJP, Naran Rathwa and Amee Yajnik from Congress, Rajni Patel as dummy candidate as well as Paresh Mulani and Congress leader PK Valera as independents.

Although a campaign against its decision to field a non-Kannadiga, industrialist Rajeev Chandrashekar for the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, is drawing enormous support on social media, the BJP seems undeterred and defended its choice of candidate on Tuesday. They did it in last RS election in Gujarat, yet could not win. Political observers, however, believe given their strenuous relations, it will be a herculean task for BJP leadership to convince Sena president Uddhav Thackeray to have his MLAs cast votes in its favour. The BJP has spruced up the battle by deciding more seat than it is certain of winning.

However, the entry of Valera, a former IAS officer and current general secretary of the Gujarat Congress, has made the elections interesting.

Like this: