Intense political drama played out on Sunday, on the eve of mayoral election at Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation (GMC), after the state government transferred the GMC commissioner S L Amrani. Later in the evening, Congress corporator Ankit Barot’s family lodged a complaint with the police that he has gone missing.
The election for the post of mayor has become full of suspense since Congress and BJP had won 16 seats each of the total 32 in 2016. However, Congress member Pravin Patel had defected to the BJP and was elected Mayor. Pravin Patel’s term ends on November 6, and the next mayor — a post reserved for a woman — is set to be elected on Monday.
Adding to it, the High Court, which is hearing a petition challenging Pravin Patel’s defection, on November 1 ordered that his vote be kept aside in a sealed cover till November 22 when the petition is slated for further hearing.
Earlier in the day, Amrani, an IAS officer of the 2003 batch, was transferred as Officer on Special Duty at Settlement Commissioner & Director of Land Records. He will be replaced by Ratankanvar Gadhvicharan, an IAS officer of the 2009 batch, who is currently posted as the Commissioner of MSME.
Notably, Amrani’s transfer is being considered a result of his alleged tussle with Standing Committee chairman Manu Patel. Manu Patel said, “Yes, we had differences over certain issues of development. The Standing Committee, and not me alone, had passed a resolution against him for delaying some projects. But, I do not know if this transfer is because of that.”
In the evening, after Congress corporator Ankit Barot reportedly went missing, party MLA from Gandhinagar North, C J Chavda, alleged that Barot was abducted by the brother of a former BJP MLA so that the former’s wife, who is also a BJP corporator, in GMC could be easily elected as Mayor Monday. “If BJP plays such dirty politics, and if we start giving them befitting reply, it will spoil everybody’s Diwali,” Chavda said.