After Banaskantha, protest in Gujarat Congress over the ticket distribution for the Lok Sabha (LS) elections seems to be brewing in Patan. Sitting Congress MP from Patan, Jagdish Thakor, has expressed displeasure at Bhavsinh Rathod getting the ticket from the constituency. Thakor said it was “too much” that Rathod, who has attained the impression of a turncoat, became one of the front contenders for the ticket and ultimately got it.
On Thursday, Congress party’s state unit announced the names of four more candidates for LS elections. Rathod’s name was announced for Patan constituency, Kirit Patel’s for Gandhinagar, Ramsinh Parmar’s for the Panchmahals and Virji Thummar for Amreli constituency. Rathod has attained the impression of a turncoat as he has shifted his loyalty between the Congress and the BJP on a number of occasions.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Thakor said that he was not happy with the preparations of the party for the Lok Sabha elections since February and had declared that he would not contest the elections. He was especially annoyed by the selection of Rathod as Congress candidate for the Patan constituency. “A person like Rathod, who has kept changing parties, becomes the front contender for the party ticket for the Lok Sabha by using pressure tactics. It is too much. The party should have selected a proper candidate for the seat,” Thakor said. He added that the party high command had asked him to choose from Patan and Banaskantha seats, but he was not willing to contest.
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Interestingly, in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Rathod had contested from Patan on BJP ticket against Thakor. And Thakor had defeated him with a margin of around 18,000 votes. Rathod, a known turncoat, had come to the Congress party in 2007 when he contested on the party ticket from Sami-Harij constituency and defeated BJP candidate. Two years later, Rathod had sought Congress ticket in the Lok Sabha elections and when he was denied the ticket, he joined the BJP and contested against Thakor. When he lost to Thakor, he again contested for Sami-Harij Assembly constituency as a BJP candidate.
In 2012, months before Assembly elections, Rathod again changed the camp and resigned from the BJP and joined the Congress. Rathod could not be contacted for his comments.