As many as 25 of the 27 candidates currently in the fray for the upcoming Choryasi Assembly bypoll are Independents, mostly Muslims.
There are around 35,000 Muslims among 3.91 lakh voters, including a large number of migrants. The unusually large number of Muslim candidates, as may as 18, has left Congress worried. The party was banking on the migrant voters and the Muslims to pip BJP in the bypoll.
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While BJP has fielded Jankhana Patel, daughter of the late MLA Raja Patel, Congress named Dhansukh Rajput for the seat. “We are also shocked after learning that 18 candidates contesting the bypoll are Muslims. BJP is afraid of losing and they have indirectly fielded Muslims candidates, so that votes of minorities get divided,” said Rajput.
Though Congress alleged a “conspiracy” behind the high number of candidates from the minority community, advocate Nazir Godil (Dhoraji Memon), an Independent candidate, has a different opinion. “This is my second election as Independent candidate. During the last Assembly election, I fought from Surat West and got only 977 votes. This time, I am contesting from Choryasi seat and I hope to get around 1,500 votes as I have cordial relations with both the Hindus and the Muslims. I have worked for both Congress and BJP, but now, I have found that both parties do not think about the lower strata of the society. I like AAP, so I will join it soon.”
Another Independent candidate, 55-year-old Bhagwati Brahmakshrtirya, is a resident of Sector-24 in Gandhinagar. Bhagwati, fighting on the symbol of nt of Sector-24 in Gandhinagar. Bhagwati, fighting on the symbol of pressure cooker, has studied till Class VII and, earlier contested from Kamrej Assembly constituency in Surat. “I am fond of becoming a political leader and travel in a car having a red beacon,” said Bhagwati who has fought nine elections. The byelection is on January 21.