Six BJP leaders including a sitting MLA and four former legislators have filed nominations as independents after being denied tickets by the party for the next month’s Gujarat Assembly elections.
For 89 seats which would go to the polls in the first phase, Thursday was the last day for withdrawal of nominations.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
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Former BJP MLA and the party’s tribal face Harshad Vasava, who filed his nomination papers a week ago as an independent from Nandod in Narmada district, did not withdraw his nomination, thus staying in the fray against the party’s official candidate.
Arvind Ladani, former BJP MLA from Keshod in Junagadh district, too did not pull out of the contest. He was sulking after the party gave the ticket to present MLA Devabhai Malam for Keshod instead of him.
On Thursday, one sitting BJP MLA and two former BJP MLAs also filed their nominations as independents for the seats which will go to polls on December 5 in the second phase. The last date to withdraw nomination for the second phase is November 21.
Six-time MLA from Waghodia, Madhu Shrivastav, who was not renominated by the BJP this time, filed his papers as an independent. The BJP has fielded Ashwin Patel from the seat.
Former BJP MLA Dinesh Patel, also known as ‘Dinu Mama’, filed his papers as an independent candidate from Padra seat in Vadodara district.
The BJP has given the ticket to Chaitanyasinh Zala from this constituency, currently held by the Congress.
Dhavalsinh Zala, a former Congress MLA from Bayad seat who joined the BJP but lost to Congress’ Jashu Patel in 2020 by-poll, has now filed his papers as an independent as he was denied ticket by the BJP.
In Dhanera seat in Banaskantha district, BJP leader Mavji Desai on Thursday filed his nomination as an independent after being denied ticket by the party. In 2017, he had lost to Congress’ Nathabhai Patel.