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Dummy and dumb? No way

After Vallabh Patel-the BJP councillor wanted in the 2002 Naroda Gam riot case-was made the campaign in charge of Naroda...

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
April 14, 2009 4:37:05 am

Riots accused turns violent after asked to withdraw as BJP dummy candidate

After Vallabh Patel — the BJP councillor wanted in the 2002 Naroda Gam riot case — was made the campaign in charge of Naroda,the BJP chose yet another riot accused as the dummy candidate for the Ahmedabad (west) seat ex-MLA Jitu Vaghela in place of official candidate Dr Kirit Solanki.

Vaghela is one of the 44 accused in a 2002 riots case in the city. The next hearing for having separate chargesheets against Hindus and Muslims accused in the same rioting incident has been fixed for April 27.

Asmita Palkhiwala,counsel for the Muslim accused has alleged that the prosecution filed this plea to prolong the judicial process and ensure political advantage during the election campaign.

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Vaghela was elected as a BJP legislator in 2002 for the Shaherkotda Assembly constituency in Ahmedabad and had lost the 2007 Assembly polls to Shailesh Parmar,the Congress MLA. Vaghela was keen to take on Parmar,who is now also the Congress LS candidate for Ahmedabad (west),but the BJP denied him that chance. Incidentally,Vaghela,who withdrew his candidature on Monday,now stands accused of attacking a fellow party worker with a knife in a fit of anger.

Vaghela was apparently not satisfied with the party’s gesture of making him a dummy candidate.

Angry at being denied a ticket and Solanki being preference over him,Vaghela,in an act of frustration and despair,attacked BJP volunteers on Sunday night for canvassing for Dr Solanki.

He allegedly attacked Solanki’s supporter Ankit Shah near the Khokhra Bridge,when the latter was returning with his friend Devraj Solanki from the BJP office in Danilimda. Vaghela accosted them and an altercation ensued during which he allegedly attacked Shah with a knife.

The police have now booked Vaghela under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code. They have said the incident could be the fallout of a denial of ticket to Vaghela.

Vaghela denied the charges levelled against him,saying he was at home at the time of the incident. “This is a political stunt to frame me at the time of elections,” he said.

State BJP spokesperson Yamal Vyas said he was unaware of the incident. “Vaghela had expressed his desire to contest the Lok Sabha elections on a BJP ticket and his name was finalised as a dummy candidate,” Vyas said.

Meanwhile,in the court trial relating to the riots case,Vaghela’s counsel Anand Brahmbhatt stated in a written submission that Vaghela had no objections to separate chargesheets being filed for the Hindu and the Muslim accused.

BJP state president Purushottam Rupala was busy at a public meeting and party state unit general secretary Vijay Rupani did not respond to queries.

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