Mukesh Dalal Declared Unopposed in Surat Loksabha Election

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Mukesh Dalal Declared Unopposed in Surat Loksabha Election

| Updated: April 23, 2024 18:08

“The Gods are with me:, Mukesh Dalal laughs stoically before chanting Jai Shri Ram.

Jai Shri Ram, says Mukesh Dalal and he would not stop till he acknowledged. Sure. Lord Ram must be laughing at him with all his blessings. He was contesting the Surat Loksabha election on the BJP ticket but following a slight signature glitch in the papers of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani, Mukesh Dalal has been declared unopposed. To make matters worse, even Congress’s dummy candidate’s papers had flaws.

Imagine winning a Lok Sabha election without actually doing anything about it.

It gets even more interesting. This was Mukesh Dalal’s first election ever in life. Surat Lok Sabha seat is a keenly contested parliamentary seat. There were six candidates in 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 Kumbhai had forgotten to put in his signature on the papers. Their backup candidate was Suresh Padsala. As if the gods were in favour of the BJP, even Suresh’s nomination papers were incomplete. Congress, the grand old party 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. Congress’ case, there were over six people who had confirmed the signature but all of them got it wrong. Not just the candidates, but his dummy too!

That left behind Mukesh Dalal. To his amusement, one by one, all the remaining eight independent candidates also quit. At least a week before elections are held. Mukesh Dalal became an unopposed BJP MP.’ Surat’s returning officer Sourabh Pardhi did draw the attention of Nilesh Kumbhani and his running mate but then it was too late.

BJP ‘opens account’ in Lok Sabha Elections 2024 before counting after candidate wins Gujarat’s Surat unopposed. Gujarat has a total of 26 Lok Sabha seats and the polling in the state is set to take place in the third phase on May 7. In the last that they didn’t sign his papers. The Congress’ backup candidate Suresh Padsala also met the same fate, effectively removing the ‘Grand Old Party’ from the electoral contest in this key city.

Gujarat Congress president Shaktisinh Gohil claims that this is a dirty ploy. So does Congress lawyer Bhabulal Manguikya. A court case in the offing but as now, Mukesh Dalal proudly sports his certificate which verifies him as the winner of the constituency number 24 election, that is Surat.

Amongst those who later withdrew their nomination include:

· Global Republican Party’s Jayeshbhai Mevada

· Independents including Bharatbhai Prajapati, AjitSinh Bhupatsinh Umat, Kishore bhai Dayani and Baraiya Rameshbhai Parsottambhai

· Bahujan Samaj Party’s Pyarelal Bharti and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Party’s Abdul Hamid Khan

· Log Party’s Soheil Shekh

India Tv – BJP, Surat, Mukesh Dalal, Lok Sabha Elections 2024

Image Source : INDIA TVBJP’s Surat candidate Mukesh Dalal’s victory certificate.

The controversy arose just after Dinesh Jodhani, the election agent for the BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal, raised objections.

Mukesh was declared winner as there was no one opposing his win. An uncontested election is when a candidate is declared the winner without a single vote being cast. Though Vibes of India could not confirm it, this is the first time a candidate has been declared unopposed on the basis of how uncontested elections work.

The election commission’s handbook says they have been duly elected immediately after the last hour for withdrawal of candidature. In that event, a poll is not “necessary.”

This occurs when all other contesting candidates either drop out of the race or their candidacy is rejected.

Which is exactly what happened on Monday – the final day of withdrawal of papers – when a slew of candidates including Congress’ Nilesh Kumbhani, four Independents, three from smaller parties and Pyarelal Bharti of Bahujan Samaj Party dropped out. Rules mandate that a candidate endorsed by a recognised political party needs at least one voter from the constituency to propose their candidacy.

Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani, 44, had fought for an assembly seat in Kamrej but had lost in 22. He was involved in the Patidar Andolan.

But if the candidate is Independent or nominated by an unrecognised political party, 10 voters from the constituency must sign the nomination paper.

“I declare that Mukeshkumar Chandrakant Dalal, sponsored by the BJP, has been duly elected to fill the seat in the House from Surat parliamentary constituency,” district collector cum election officer Saurabh Pardhi said as he handed over the Certificate of Election to Dalal.

Naturally, the BJP in Gujarat is over the moon. BJP state party president C R Paatil said this is Gujarat’s first gift to Modi ji. This lotus is our token of love and respect. This trend will continue!

Mukesh Dalal who won today has been associated with the BJP since 1981. He is a textile trader and is the general secretary of Surat BJP and has been a chairman of BJP standing committee. He also runs a few cooperative banks and is believed to be close to BJP State president C R Paatl.

Has this happened before?

Yes. Similar incidents have happened bust this is the first time it has happened in Gujarat.

These included TA Ramalinga Chettiar of the Indian National Congress in Coimbatore, T Sangana from Orissa’s Rayagada Phulbani, the INC’s Anand Chand from Bilaspur, Major General HS Major Gen MS Himatsinhji from Saurashtra’s Halar, and Krishna Charya Joshi from Hyderabad’s Yadgir.

Seven more candidates were elected unopposed to the Lok Sabha in 1951.

The last time a person was elected unopposed to the Lok Sabha – not including by-polls – was Mohammad Shafi Bhat of the National Conference.

Bhat won unopposed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar all the way back in 1989.

Prior to that, Farooq Abdullah, also from the National Conference, was elected unopposed from Srinagar in 1980.

When it comes to the bypolls, Dimple Yadav won unopposed from the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat in 2012, as per India Today.

That occurred after the two other candidates for the constituency withdrew their nominations.

Congress slams BJP

The Congress claimed the BJP was frightened by the anger of MSME owners and the business community and attempted “match-fixing” even in the Surat Lok Sabha seat which the ruling party has been winning since 1984.

The party claimed that Kumbhani’s nomination form was rejected at the behest of the BJP and vowed to challenge the rejection in the High Court.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh claimed that democracy is under threat.

“‘Aap chronology samajhiye’ (Understand the chronology): Surat District Election Officer rejects the Congress’ candidate for Surat Lok Sabha Nilesh Kumbhani’s nomination for ‘discrepancies in the verification of signatures of three proposers’. On similar grounds, officials reject the nomination of Suresh Padsala, the INC’s substitute candidate from Surat. The Congress is left without a candidate,” he said on X.

“All other candidates withdrew their nomination except the BJP’s candidate, Mukesh Dalal. The BJP candidate was declared ’elected unopposed’ from Surat Lok Sabha seat on April 22, 2024, nearly two weeks before polling on May 7, 2024,” Ramesh added.

“Our elections, our democracy, Babasaheb Ambedkar’s Constitution – all are under a generational threat. This is the most important election of our lifetime,” Ramesh said.

A Congress candidate claimed that the BJP is trying to break the opposition using money acquired through corrupt means.

“People are watching this and they will give a befitting reply to the ruling party,” said Congress candidate for Rajkot seat, Paresh Dhanani.

Paatil told reporters in Surat that going by the way people are extending their support to BJP, everyone is confident of achieving the target of 400 seats.

He said the BJP will win the remaining 25 seats in Gujarat, where voting will be held on 7 May in a single phase.

“Congress did a drama ahead of the election by claiming that the proposers of its candidate had been kidnapped. That allegation was refuted by their candidate himself. The party leaders then tried to put pressure on poll authorities and spread rumours. But, truth ultimately prevailed today,” Paatil said.

In the 2019 polls, BJP won all 26 constituencies in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Also Read: With Rejection Of Kumbhani’s Nomination, Congress Effectively Sidelined In Surat

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