The nomination papers of two woman candidates of the Congress in Ruvad and Karjan taluka panchayats were rejected during scrutiny on Saturday. Preeti Patel, a Patidar, from Ruvad seat was disqualified for being unable to comply with the clause of having only two children after year 2005, while an adivasi candidate from Karjan withdrew her nomination after a discrepancy in her name in the voters list.
The Congress lost its Ruvad candidate, Preeti Patel, after it was known that she had three children after 2005, on the ground of having more than two children in violation of the election guidelines. Preeti, who was the party’s choice as a strong contender was replaced by her dummy candidate, Priyanka Patel (22), who is contesting polls for the first time. Priyanka, who has completed her HSC, has also become the youngest candidate in fray for the taluka panchayat polls.
Opposition leader of Vadodara taluka panchayat Dilip Bhatt said that the party had given a ticket to Preeti, going by her word in her affidavit that she had only two children. “We believed what she told us about her children. It was only later that the BJP raised objection to her having three children and she was disqualified. There was some issue related to the age of Priyanka, who is 22. We had to prove that she is not underage for contesting the polls and she is now our candidate,” Bhatt said.
The party lost its female candidate in Karjan, Chandrika Prajapati, after she allegedly withdrew under pressure. The BJP in Karjan had raised objection to the discrepancy in Prajapati’s first name in the electoral list and her nomination paper. While she identified herself as Chandrika in the nomination, the electoral roll reflected her name as Chandan Prajapati. Bhatt says, “The BJP had raised objection and we were going ahead with the dummy, when they withdrew the objection and allowed us to field Prajapati. However, later, she withdrew leaving the party shocked. Her husband told us they had been pressurized by rivals to withdraw. This has left the BJP uncontested and our party without any candidate in Karjan.” BJP MLA from Karjan Satish Patel refused to comment about the Congress allegations.