The Surat district electoral officer has issued showcause notices to five Congress candidates, asking them to explain why expenses of Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel’s December 3 roadshow in Surat be not included in their poll expenditure.
“We have issued notices to five Congress candidates over Hardik Patel’s rally, lunch and public meeting. If they do not respond in time, all expenses of the event will be equally shared among the five in their election expenses,” District Collector and Electoral Officer Mahendra Patel said.
The five Congress candidates who have been served notices are Jignesh Jivani (Katargam), Dinesh Kachhadiya (Surat North), Ashok Jiravala (Kamrej), Bhavesh Bhumbhaliya (Karanj) and Dhirubhai Gajera (Varachha). All of them lost. Officials said the roadshow is estimated to have cost Rs 5 lakh.
“We were in our office and as the roadshow arrived, I came out and garlanded him. At the time, I was not wearing a Congress scarf. Hardik Patel is a Patidar and if his roadshow passes by my office, it is my duty as a Patidar to greet him. We knew the election department will raise this issue. We are prepared with a proper answer and will submit it to the officials,” said Kachhadiya.