With less than a fortnight to go before the parliamentary elections, congressmen stormed into the Gujarat party headquarters in Ahmedabad on Monday and burned posters of senior leader Bharatsinh Solanki. The party workers protested the decision to give incumbent MLA Imran Khedawala a ticket from his Jamalpur-Khadia seat.
The protesters also damaged Solanki’s nameplate and defaced the walls of the building by writing defamatory words against him with spray paint. They alleged that Solanki took money from Khedawala and deliberately ignored the claim of youth congress leader and former councilor Shahnawaz Shaikh for this Muslim-dominated seat, PTI news agency reported.
“While both local congress workers and the people of Jamalpur opposed the sitting of MLA Khedawala, some so-called leaders, who run the party as their family estate, have made arbitrary decisions and given him a ticket,” a party official claimed. demand that Khedawala’s mandate be revoked.
“Instead of giving tickets to dedicated party employees like Shaikh, our leaders gave tickets to Khedwala after taking money. This is a conspiracy to give away the seat to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” claimed another angry protester.
Congress spokesman Parthivraj Kathvadia assured the protesters’ problems will be resolved. “The party workers must keep the peace and respect the decision. The party leadership will listen to them and find a solution,” he added. s
Khedawala will face All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Gujarat chief Sabir Kabliwala and BJP’s Bhhushan Bhatt, who won the seat in 2012.
The elections for the 182-member Gujarat assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5 and the vote counting will take place on December 8.
(with PTI inputs)
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