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Ex-BJP MLA who jumped in river after Morbi bridge collapsed to save people gets ballot

The collapse of an ancient bridge over the Machchhu River in Morbi, which recently killed around 132 people, became a source of concern for the Bharatiya Janata party in Gujarat as the opposition fired on the government in the wake of upcoming parliamentary polls. . However, the ruling party believes it has handled the incident well, despite the fact that the government has little role in it.

On Thursday, when the list of candidates was announced, the BJP nominated its old hand Kantilal Amrutiya to replace MLA Brijesh Merja from Morbi constituency. The video of Amrutiya jumping into the river with a life-saving tube around him to save the drowning had gone viral and received praise from party members and leaders.

For some in the party, the images of Amrutiya’s rescue have played a big part in finalizing his name for the seat.

However, senior BJP leaders insisted that Amrutiya has been a karyakarta of the party for a long time and many years ago they were visiting Morbi with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when a similar incident occurred.

Amrutiya had lost Morbi to congressional candidate Brijesh Merja in the 2017 election polls. In 2020, Merja left Congress and was re-elected as a BJP MLA from the seat. This time, however, the party has regained confidence in Amrutiya, believing that he will deliver the seat.

Senior leaders of the party stated that Amrutiya has a good reputation in the constituency and was therefore given a ticket.

State BJP President CR Patil, speaking on the change of candidate in Morbi and whether it would affect the election or not, said: “It was a private bridge and despite everything, the government acted quickly. Many of the BJP workers were instrumental in saving lives. The workers of other parties were even nowhere to be seen. The government did everything it could to save people.”

Party sources said the Morbi tragedy is no longer an election issue.

The BJP released a list of 160 candidates on Thursday, with many young people selected to participate.

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