To counter the growing perception that the BJP leadership had been intimidated into accepting the rebels’ demands, the saffron party retaliated. The party in Gujarat 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 BJP had already suspended seven leaders for filing nominations as independent candidates for the first phase of Assembly polls to be held on December 1, earlier.
Gujarat BJP president CR Patil announced in a release by the state unit of the party that 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.
November 21 was the last date to withdraw nominations for the 93 seats that will vote in the second phase. The rebels were not deterred by the threats of disciplinary actions and went ahead with the nomination. These leaders, who will now fight against BJP candidates on 11 seats of north and central Gujarat.
The leaders include the sitting MLA of Vaghodia (Vadodara district) Madhu Shrivastav. Former MLA of Padra, Dinu Patel and ex-MLA of Bayad, Dhavalsinh Zala. Other suspended leaders are 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).