Guj Cong Supends Nilesh Kumbhani for Six Years

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Guj Cong Supends Nilesh Kumbhani for Six Years

| Updated: April 26, 2024 21:03

The Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has announced the suspension of Nilesh Kumbhani, their candidate for the Surat Lok Sabha seat, for six years.

The suspension order, issued on Friday, marks a setback for Kumbhani, who was tasked with representing the diverse interests of Surat’s populace, particularly the Patidar community of Saurashtra. The suspension letter expressed disappointment and underscored the seriousness of the situation, accusing Kumbhani of either negligence or collusion with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leading to the cancellation of his nomination form.

The letter reads:

After extensive discussion in the meeting of the Discipline Committee of the State Congress Committee, considering the facts below, you are being suspended for six years. You were given a ticket to the Parliament by the Congress party. You were expected to raise your voice as a representative of many Patidars and other people of Saurashtra, or those who are located in Surat.

The situation was clearly visible in your complete negligence in the matter of cancellation of your form or your collusion with the Bharatiya Janata Party. Despite this, according to the principles of natural justice, you could have clarified and presented your side, for which the Discipline Committee had given you time. You have dramatically disappeared and you have not revealed anything to your party, so the party has decided to suspend you for six years.

The cancellation of your form is a very unfortunate incident. After that, the BJP has killed the democracy by pulling back all the forms by giving greed, temptation, fear and intimidation to the candidates of other parties. The voter has a sacred right to vote at the time of elections. The situation has arisen where the BJP is encroaching on the right of people to vote from the incident that happened in Surat and this incident will be written in black letters in the history of democracy. The 18-year-old young voter who was eager to vote for the first time in the grand festival of democracy has also been disappointed. This kind of situation is a very shameful incident. You must be aware that there has been a lot of anger among the people of Surat as well as congress workers against you against you and people are severly angry against you in all places from social media.

Therefore, the Discipline Committee has decided to suspend you from the party for six years.

What happened in Surat?

Surat Lok Sabha seat is a keenly contested parliamentary seat. There were 10 candidates in the fray. Main amongst them were Mukesh Dalal of BJP and Nilesh Kumbhani of the Congress. There were eight other independent candidates.

On Sunday evening, officers on duty pointed out that Congress candidate Nikesh Kumbhani had forgotten to put in his signature on the papers. Their backup candidate was Suresh Padsala. But even Suresh’s nomination papers were incomplete. Congress had no option but to withdraw from the electoral fray.

Sources confirmed to Vibes of India that the problems were in the signature of those who had proposed it. In Congress’ case, there were over six people who had confirmed the signature but all of them got it wrong. Surat’s returning officer Sourabh Pardhi did draw the attention of Nilesh Kumbhani and his substitute but then it was too late. All the other remaining eight independent candidates also quit one by one. This left Dalal as the sole candidate, marking BJP’s first victory in Gujarat even before the voting began.

Mukesh Dalal received the Member of Parliament certificate from the Surat District Collector on Monday after all other candidates withdrew from the fray.

Post this incident, Kumbhani reportedly went underground and has been out of contact with both his family and party members. His family, who returned home on Wednesday, informed the media about their inability to reach him. They claimed to have visited Ahmedabad to discuss the issue with party leaders. Meanwhile, in Surat, opposition against Kumbhani is growing, especially after AAP workers declared him absconding following the cancellation of his nomination. Kumbhani is currently missing and faces allegations of fraud and cheating, leading to the police filing an FIR.

The city’s Congress leadership claimed that they were not in contact with Kumbhani and had not received any communication regarding his intentions. The party had earlier planned to file a petition in the Gujarat High Court with Kumbhani, but this could not be implemented due to his sudden disappearance. Earlier attempts to contact Kumbhani, when there were discussions about him joining the BJP, also proved futile as his house was found locked.

Kumbhani’s wife spoke out about the situation and expressed her distress over the blame put on her husband. “My husband has not come home for four days. He left home saying that he had to go to the High Court. We do not know what happened to us,” she said.

The incident in Surat is portrayed as a severe infringement of the sacred right to vote, leading to disillusionment among voters, especially first-time voters who were looking forward to participating in the democratic process.

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