February 5, 2021 2:58:32 am
The BJP’s list for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has over two dozen repeat candidates and many youngsters for elections to the 192-seat body, covering 48 wards.
However, there were instances of relatives and family members of leaders getting tickets in violation of the criteria announced by party president CR Paatil, leaving several party workers disgruntled.
Ramol ward sitting corporator Atul Patel’s son Maulik Patel got a ticket, while late cabinet minister Fakirbhai Waghela’s niece Manishaben Vaghela land-ed a ticket from Kubernagar ward. Waghela was the Cabinet Mini-ster of Social Justice and Empow-erment from 2007 to 2012.
In another case, Jasubhai Thakor, nephew of former mayor Kanaji Thakor who is BJP’s parliamentary board member, got ticket from Shahibaug ward. Party insiders say there is no direct blood relation but admit that though he had worked as Ahmedabad city secretary, he got ticket only due to his uncle.
In Naroda, former deputy mayor Kalpanaben Bhatt’s daughter Vaishali Joshi’s name has been declared. Kalpanaben was deputy mayor before 2010.
Upset over distribution of tickets, Maninagar ward pramukh and a senior BJP worker Pinakin Shah alleged lack of transparency in the process.
“New names who are not even working in the party have got tickets, while senior workers who worked their entire life have been ignored,” Pinakin Shah told The Indian Express.
In Maninagar, a BJP bastion represented by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, names of Sheetal Daga, Ilakshi Shah, Dr Chandrakant Chauhan and Karan Bhatt have been declared.
Shah who admitted that he had sought a ticket for last three terms said, “I want to send across a message to the party that it has done injustice to senior party workers.”
There were protests by party workers and residents of Chandkheda and Vasna over names. In Khadia ward, wrested by BJP since 1972, the party has released a new panel of four candidates — Nikiben Modi, Gitaben Parmar, Pankaj Bhatt and Umang Nayak. Three of them have been office-bearers for party’s ward committees.
While Nikiben Modi was a corporator from 2010 to 2015, Pankaj Bhatt was ward pramukh for five years, till six months ago. Umang Nayak is also Ahmedabad OBC Morcha mantri and mahamantri for Khadia ward.
Gitaben Parmar is BJP’s Mahila Morcha member and Khadia ward vice-president. As per party’s new mandate, they have to resign from ward committee posts. In the current corporation, out of 192 seats, BJP has 142 while 50 corporators are from the Congress.
The ruling party has repeated its sitting councillor in Gota Ward where Parul Patel has been nominated, while two sitting corporators from Chandlodiya ward — Rajeshwari Panchal and Bharat Patel — have been given tickets by the party.
While there are no repeat names from Thaltej, Kubernagar and Asarwa wards, Arun Rajput from Chandkheda ward, Chetan Patel from Sabarmati, Gita Patel and Dashrath Patel from Ranip, Bhavna Vaghela from Nava Vadaj, and Bhavna Patel and Jatin Patel from Ghatlodiya have been repeated.
The names of Gita Patel and Jayesh Patel from Naranpura ward, Mukesh Mistry and Pradip Dave from Sardar Patel Stadium ward, Kanchan Panjwani from Sardarnagar ward and Alka Mistry from Naroda have been repeated. In Saijpur ward, Mahadev Desai who was corporator earlier will contest again.
Names of senior leaders such as Amit Shah, standing committee chairman Amul Bhatt and mayor Bijal Patel were missing from the list. “Whatever the party decides is good. Whoever the candidates is, we will ensure his victory in the election,” Shah said.
The newly merged areas of AMC will vote for the corporation for the first time. As per the State Election Commission’s order passed in October 2020, delimitation of the AMC boundaries was implemented where Bopal-Ghuma nagarpalika was merged into the nearby wards. The merged areas have been included in four wards of Jodhpur, Thaltej, Bodakdev and Sarkhej.
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