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Nomination withdrawn without any pressure, says Surat candidate who was ‘kidnapped’ according to AAP

The AAP candidate from Surat (East) Kanchan Jariwala came down hard on his own party for his “kidnapping” claims on Wednesday and issued a video statement on Wednesday allegedly saying he “withdrew his nomination without any pressure” and by after listening to his conscience the voters of his constituency called him “anti-national” and “anti-Gujarat” for fighting the Aam Aadmi party’s Gujarat elections.

Jariwala is said to be heard saying in the video, “People asked me during my campaign why I became a candidate for an anti-national and anti-Gujarat party. I listened to my inner voice. I withdrew my nomination without any pressure. I cannot support such a party.”

Earlier in the day, AAP leader and deputy chief minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia claimed that Jariwala had been “kidnapped” at the behest of the BJP, which “feared” defeat in the seat in the Gujarat polls. He claimed that his party’s Surat candidate along with his relatives had been missing since Tuesday, adding that the last time he was seen at the office of the Election Commission in Surat was for examination of his nomination papers.

Sisodia claimed that Jariwala was forced to withdraw his appointment when he went to the returning officer’s office.

“In this election, the BJP is losing miserably in Gujarat and has become so upset that it has stooped to the level of kidnapping our candidate from Surat East. Fearing defeat, the BJP dudes kidnapped the AAP candidate from Surat, Kanchan Jariwala,” Sisodia told reporters in Delhi.

Sisodia claimed that the BJP “goons” also tried to get Jariwala’s nomination cancelled, but the returning officer was unable to do so as there was no loophole in his papers.

In addition, Sisodia appealed to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to take cognizance of the incident and “deploy all machines to track down and bring back our party’s candidate and his relatives”.

In response, the polling station asked Gujarat’s chief election officer (CEO) to investigate the allegations and take action “as warranted”.

A four-person delegation led by Sisodia met Commission officials this evening and handed over a representation. “Received their representation on alleged coercion of candidate from Surat East for withdrawing his candidacy and taken to an undisclosed location. A representative has been sent to CEO Gujarat to inform and take action if necessary,” the ECI said.

(with input from PTI)

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