February 8, 2021 9:12:21 pm
Congress MLA from Jamalpur-Khadia constituency Imran Khedawala on Monday submitted his resignation to the party’s state president Amit Chavda to express displeasure over the allocation of tickets in Behrampura ward, which falls under his Assembly segment, for the upcoming Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) spokesperson Manish Doshi said Khedawala had submitted his resignation from the post of MLA to Chavda but it was not accepted. “Both Chavda and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Paresh Dhanani met and spoke to Khedawala, following which the issue has been resolved,” Doshi said.
In the resignation letter, Doshi said, Khedawala had mentioned that he was “upset and disappointed over the distribution of tickets for Behrampura ward” and was resigning from his post of MLA. Khedawala could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts.
The Congress has given tickets to Rafiq Rangrez, Tasleem Alam Tirmizi, Shahjahan Ansari and sitting councillor Kamlaben Chavda from the Behrampura ward. According to sources, late Friday night the party gave mandate to two more candidates, Nagma Rangrez and Kamruddin Pathan, as demanded by Khedawala. However, both the candidates were dropped later that allegedly left Khedawala miffed.
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“The Gujarat Congress president and other senior leaders tried to make Khedawala understand that the party can hand out tickets to only four candidates from each ward and not to everyone who has sought one, and this should not be taken as a cause to resign,” Doshi said.
The Jamalpur-Khadia MLA had attracted a lot of attention Saturday when the incumbent Jamalpur councillor, Shahnawaz Sheikh, a NSUI leader, was denied a Congress ticket from the ward. Several NSUI leaders had resigned after Sheikh’s name was excluded from the list with many alleging that Sheikh was denied a ticket at the behest of Khedawala. Sheikh was later accommodated from the Khadia ward, a BJP bastion.
On Sunday, Khedawala had told The Indian Express that since Sheikh’s residence was in Khadia ward, it was a “better seat” for him. “Over 44 candidates have asked for tickets from the Jamalpur ward. Of them only four got tickets, so it is natural for the remaining 40 to feel disappointed and upset,” he had then said. He also indicated that a few senior Congress leaders were upset with Sheikh.
Khedawala, sources claimed, had earlier threatened to resign over the mandate for the Jamalpur seat as well.
On Monday, both the Congress and the BJP questioned Khedawala’s decision to step down as a party MLA, especially on the day of scrutinising of nominations for the municipal polls. Former BJP corporator and MLA from Khadia, Bhushan Bhatt, said, “If he actually wanted to resign, then why put in his papers to the Congress state chief and not the Assembly Speaker? This is merely a political pressure tactics, keeping an eye on the 2022 Assembly elections.”
Congress insiders said, since 2017 the Jamalpur-Khadia MLA had promised tickets and positions to several persons but failed to deliver. “Now, he wants to cut a sorry figure,” a Congress member, without wishing to be named, said.
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