Former Congress MP Vitthal Radadia filed his nomination papers as a BJP candidate for Porbandar Lok Sabha constituency seat even as Congress candidates submitted their papers for Jetpur,Dhoraji and Limdi Assembly constituencies on the last day of filing nominations on Wednesday.
Flaunted by state Water Resources Minister Babu Bokhiria,Radadia took out a rally of BJP workers and supporters in Porbandar and filed his nomination papers in the afternoon. The Lok Sabha seat had fallen vacant in November last year after Radadia,then a Congress MP resigned to fight state Assembly elections. He won from Dhoraji Assembly seat but resigned from that constituency also. Later,he and his son Jayesh,then Congress MLA from Jetpur,quit Congress and joined BJP early in March.
Radadia will be in direct contention of Vinu Amipara of Congress for the Lok Sabha seat. However,six Independent candidates have also registered their candidatures.
Meanwhile,Hari Kansagra and Jagdish Pambhar filed their papers for Dhoraji and Jetpur constituencies respectively as Congress candidates. Kansara was given the Congress mandate on Wednesday even though the party had earlier declared Raju Kotadi as its candidate for Dhoraji. However,Kotadias name was scrapped late on Tuesday night.
Besides candidates of Lok Jan Shakti Party and Samajwadi Party,four other Independent candidates are also in the fray for Dhoraji seat which is dominated by Kadva Patels and has a sizeable Muslim voters also. Both Kansagra and Makadia are Kadva Patels while Radadia and Amipara are Leuva Patels.
Pambhar,a dying industrialist of Jetpur,will face Jayesh Radadia,who is contesting on a BJP ticket this time,for Jetpur seat. On the other hand,Kansagra,a Rajkot-based hotelier,faces the main challenge from Pravin Makadia of BJP. Makadia is former MLA from now wiped-out Upleta Assembly constituency.
In Limdi,Congress MP Soma Patels son Satish filed his papers as Congress candidate. Former minister Kiritsinh Rana of BJP had submitted his papers on Tuesday for the same seat. As many as 19 Independent candidates have also filed their papers.
Bypolls to Dhoraji,Jetpur and Limdi constituencies are being held after they fell vacant following resignations Vitthal Radadia,his son Jayesh and Soma Patel respectively. While the Radadia father-son duo have switched over to BJP,Soma Patel had resigned to continue as a Congress MP.
NCP declares support to Cong for bypolls
Rajkot: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) declared its support to Congress and withdrew its candidates on the last day of filing nominations papers on Wednesday for the June 2 bypolls to four Assembly constituencies and two Lok Sabha seats. Leaders of both the parties agreed that election symbols of both the parties would create confusion in the minds of voters for Porbandar Lok Sabha seat and this would benefit communal forces. To keep such forces at bay,the NCP has declared support to Congress for the bypolls, state NCP general secretary and spokesperson Jagdishchandra Dafda said. The party,which had tied up with Congress for state Assembly elections in last December,had announced to field its candidates from Jetpur,Dhoraji and Porbandar after Congress did not accede to its demand of sparring Jetpur for it.
Bypolls a chance for Modi to gear up for 2014 elections
The bypolls to four Assembly seats on June 2 is a chance for the Narendra Modi government to cross the 117 seat tally of the 2007 elections and boost the partys morale in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
In the recently-concluded elections,which was a prestige issue for Modi given his national aspiration,the BJP,with 115 seats in the Assembly of 182,fell short by two seats. For the Modi government,it was the lowest tally since 2002. And now all the four seats that are up for grabs belonged to the Congress. Three of them were vacated when Congressmen aspired to other posts and chose to give away Assembly seats. The fourth one fell vacant after the demise of a Congress MLA.
The three Assembly seats in Saurashtra that go to polls are Jetpur,Dhoraji and Limbdi. In 2012,there was a direct fight for these seats between the BJP and Congress heavyweights and the Congress leaders had won. But with Congress strongman Vitthal Radadia (Dhoraji) and his son Jayesh (Jetpur) vacating the two seats to join the BJP,the Congress will have to fight hard to earn it back. Little wonder they changed Dhoraji candidate at the last moment on Tuesday.
While Jayesh will contest again from Jetpur,senior Radadiya,as a BJP candidate,will contest again from Porbandar Lok Sabha seat he vacated after winning Dhoraji in the December 2012 Assembly election. Because of the Radadiyas,the Congress now have to fight for three seats two Assembly and one Lok Sabha.
Besides,the BJP once again has got the chance to reclaim the Limdbi Assembly constituency that it lost to Congress leader Soma Ganda Patel. Patel,however,despite winning,chose to continue as Surendranagar MP. And the BJP again fielded its former minister,Kiritsinh Rana,who lost to Patel only with thin margin. Morva Hadaf in Panchmahals district belonged to the Congress. However,hours after winning the seat,Congress candidate Savita Khant had passed away.
The BJP will hold Vijay Vishwas Sammelan today to decide on the strategy to win the four Assembly and two Lok Sabha seats, said BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja.