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Gujarat panchayat polls: BJP MLA’s wife loses sarpanch post; winner says ‘will work for development’

🔴 While Jayantibhai managed to wrest the post of the sarpanch from Jashuben, candidates fielded by him won 11 of the 16 seats of the village panchayat.

Rajkot |
Updated: December 23, 2021 3:44:19 am
Jayantibhai Varaniya (extreme right) with Ashok Varaniya after the former's victory in Trajpar village panchayat election, in Morbi on Tuesday night. (Express photo)

In a major upset, Jashuben Sabariya, 59, wife of BJP’s Dhrangadhra MLA Parsottam Sabariya, lost the village panchayat election of Trajpar in Morbi district after the results were declared late Tuesday night.

Her opponent, 45-year-old Jayantibhai Varaniya, emerged as the winner with 228 more votes than Jashuben, who was elected as the sarpanch in 2016.

While Jayantibhai managed to wrest the post of the sarpanch from Jashuben, candidates fielded by him won 11 of the 16 seats of the village panchayat.

Jayantibhai’s relative, Ashok Varaniya, who was the sarpanch of Trajpar from 2006 to 2016, said, “Our victory is a rejection of Parsottam Sabariya’s inaction as an MLA and the poor performance of Jashuben as the sarpanch. Despite being an MLA for four years, he did little for the village and our community.”

Parsottam’s constituency, Dhrangadhra, covers Halvada taluka of Morbi town which houses Trajpar village in its eastern outskirts.

Jayantibhai, who has studied till Class VIII and owns a fleet of tankers, said, “People had lost confidence in Jashuben due to her style of working. We will work for the development of the village.”

Meanwhile, Parsottam rejected the allegations and said, “In the last five years, there was a lot of work done in Trajpar village, more than what was done in the last 70 years. For example, the streets in the village now have paving-blocks on them.”

Accepting his wife’s defeat, he added, “In a democracy, victories and defeats go hand in hand. Being a sitting MLA, it was not appropriate for me to campaign for my wife. Plus, I had other party work to do. So, I feel, we could not work as hard as we should have to win this election.”

Parsottam was elected as the MLA from Dhrangadhra in 2017 as a Congress candidate. However, he later defected to BJP in 2019 and resigned as an MLA and contested the subsequent by-election and emerged victorious on a saffron party ticket.

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