Updated: January 26, 2021 12:24:01 am
As many as 1,949 ticket aspirants have submitted forms to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) observers from Surat ahead of the local body elections, party sources said. On February 21, a total of 120 seats in Surat Municipal Corporation’s 30 wards are set to go to polls.
Ahead of the municipal corporation elections, the BJP had sent a 21-member team of observers to Surat to meet ticket aspirants and accept their proposal forms. The observers met aspirants at seven locations from January 23 to 25, party sources said.
During the three-day exercise, a total of 1,949 candidates submitted proposal forms to the observers who will analyse the applications and then send them to the party’s parliamentary board committee, which will take the final call on the candidates.
Among the aspirants is newly appointed general secretary of the party’s Surat city unit, Lalit Vekariya, a close aide of BJP state president CR Paatil. Vekariya is vying to contest from the civic ward number 7 in the upcoming elections from the city and has submitted an application to the party, sources said.
BJP worker Babbu Shaikh, brother of late Saeeda Shaikh, who had in 2010 contested municipal election from the BJP and lost, is also among the ticket aspirants. Babbu is also seen as close to Paatil and BJP MLA from Limbayat, Sangeeta Patil.
“I have demanded a ticket from the BJP from ward no 18 which has 35,000 Muslim voters. I have been loyal to the party and worked for implementing all the Central and state governments’ schemes. I also have contributed for the construction of Ram Temple and set up page committee… I fit the criteria laid by the party for shortlisting candidates, but it is up to the party to take a final decision,” Babbu Shaikh said.
There are also 18 Muslim ticket aspirants from the party in the city. Of them seven are from ward no 18 (Limbayat, Parvat, Kumbhariya), sources said.
According to BJP sources, 103 applications, the highest, have been received from ward no 10 (Adjan, Paal, Ichhapore), followed by 80 candidates each from ward no 13 (Wadifalia, Saiyedpura, Begampura) and ward no 8 (Dabholi Singhanpore). Lowest applications — 36 — were received from the Patidar-dominated area in ward no 4 (Kapodara), while only 43 ticket aspirants from the BJP submitted forms to from ward no 7 (Katargam, Ved Road).
“The entire process of proposal submission by ticket aspirants had passed peacefully. This time, Muslims also had demanded tickets from the party. It will be the BJP’s parliamentary board committee that will take the final decision in the matter,” Surat city BJP president Niranjan Zanjmera said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines