March 17, 2021 4:31:55 am
DESPITE the BJP winning 24 of the 28 seats in the election to Wankaner municipality in Morbi district, members supported by party rebels were chosen for the posts of president and vice-president Tuesday.
The BJP nominated Ritaba Rathod and Jayshree Surela as its president and vice-president candidates, respectively. However, a group of BJP rebels fielded Jayshree Sejpal and Dharmendrasinh Jadeja as their candidates for the twin posts. In the voting, Sejpal and Jadeja polled 15 votes each while BJP candidates could manage only 10 votes each. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has four councillors in the municipality, voted for the candidates of the rebel group, thus preventing the BJP from retaining power in Wankaner civic body.
“Representatives of the BJP were present but they did not submit any copy of their party’s whip for the election,” Ganga Singh, Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Halvad, who was presiding officer for the election, said.
The development follows media reports on March 15 that 16 of the 24 newly elected councillors of the BJP in Wankaner municipality had tendered their resignation from the party. Media reports claimed Jitu Somani, the former president of Wankaner municipality, was unhappy with the party after he was overlooked for the post of general secretary of BJP’s Morbi district unit.
Durlabhji Dethariya, president of BJP’s Morbi district unit, had on March 15 told The Indian Express that he had not received any resignations from its councillors in Wankaner municipality. On Tuesday, he said, “We issued whip to all our elected members but a rebel group led by a person who believes in individual-led politics disrespected the mandate issued by BJP parliamentary board. We will report the matter our state leadership.”
Somani, however, was among the BJP councillors who accepted the party’s whip for election to the posts of president and vice-president. One member of the rebel group also accepted the party’s whip and voted for BJP candidates.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.