3-time BJP MP Lalu Patel defeated by Independent in Daman & Diu - Vibes Of India

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3-time BJP MP Lalu Patel defeated by Independent in Daman & Diu

| Updated: June 5, 2024 16:30

In a major setback to the BJP, its three-term MP Lalu Patel lost to independent candidate Umesh Babubhai Patel by 6,225 votes from the only Lok Sabha seat in the Union Territory of Daman and Diu. Umesh polled 42,523 votes while Lalu got only 36,298. Congress’s Ketan Patel, who finished third, got 11,258 votes.

An ecstatic Umesh dedicated the victory to the people. “I was fighting alone and with the love and support of the voters of the union territory, I have been elected. The main reason for my victory is because I remained with the public and took up their issues. I will take up their issues, present it before the authorities, and get them resolved,” he said.

This is Umesh’s second electoral stint. His maiden run was in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when he secured 19,938 votes but lost to Lalu Patel.

An arts graduate, Umesh runs the NGO, Daman Youth Action Force (DYAF), that takes up various public problems. He has also been vociferous against various “dictatorial decisions taken by the administrator of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli”.

“ BJP sitting MP Lalu Patel never worked for the people or took up their issues. As a result, the gap between the leader and voters expanded,” Umesh added. However, Lalu blamed “anti-incumbency” for his defeat. “They (public) may want change and anti-incumbency also may be a factor,” he said.

When asked which party he would support, Patel said, “I am yet to decide, but the decision will be taken keeping in mind the betterment of the people of Daman and Diu. We will talk to the people and my core people.”

Overlooked by both the BJP and Congress, Umesh, however, was a popular figure in the Union Territory. He shot to limelight in April 2017 when Daman Youth Action Force (DYAF) — the NGO he runs — opposed the Gujarat High Court’s decision to merge Daman and Diu with Gujarat for effective implementation of the Gujarat Prohibition Act. According to a Gujarat government’s submission in the High Court, 90 per cent of liquor seized was smuggled from Daman.

On April 14, 2017, Umesh was arrested after he took out a huge rally against the merger.

According to DYAF vice-president Uday Patel, Umesh always worked with the public. “Umeshbhai was all alone campaigning door-to-door. He was always on the road, taking up issues like the rise in the property taxes in the Daman municipality and district panchayats and also the rise in power tariff and privatisation of power, demolition drive carried out by administrator Praful Patel. There was no star campaigner with him, two to three friends accompanied him. His wife and daughter also joined us during the campaign,” DYAF vice president Uday Patel said.

Umesh also runs Swami Vivekanand Vidhyalay in Nani Daman where education is provided to the students from classes 1 to 10 in Hindi and English.
On September 7, 2021, he was arrested yet again following the alleged suicide of a clerk who worked at the school. According to a complaint filed by Kishan Shahis, the father of Prashant Shahis who died by hanging himself, his son took the extreme step after constant harassment by Umesh.

Kalaben Delkar wins DNH on BJP ticket

Shiv Sena (UBT) turncoat Kalaben Delkar won the Dadar & Nagar Haveli (DNH) Lok Sabha seat for the BJP by a margin of 57,584 votes Tuesday. Kalaben secured 1,21,074 votes against Congress candidate Ajit Mahala who got 63,286 votes. “We have delivered after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trust in us. The voters of DNH have voted for us with full majority. This election was a true challenge as we had solved some of the issues of the public, but some remained unresolved. Now, our target is to work solely for the public issues,” Kalaben said after her victory.

The sitting MP is also the widow of late Mohan Delkar, an independent MP who died by suicide in February 2021. Kalaben had won the bypoll from the seat on a Shiv Sena ticket following her husband’s death in 2021 and won by over 51,000 votes.

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