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How BJP Won In Surat Even Before Vote Counting Began

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The counting of votes for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections began at 8 am on Tuesday. However, even before the first official trends trickled in, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had already bagged the Surat Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat.

How BJP won a seat even before counting began

Mukesh Dalal of the BJP emerged victorious unopposed on April 22 after the nomination of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani was rejected. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), fighting these polls under the INDIA alliance, didn’t nominate a candidate from Surat.

All eight other candidates in the Surat Lok Sabha constituency withdrew their nominations, leaving Mukesh Dalal as the sole contender.

Why was the nomination of Congress candidates rejected?

The nomination papers of Nilesh Kumbhani, the Congress candidate, were rejected after his three proposers said they had not signed his form. This rejection eliminated him from the Surat contest.

Thereafter, Suresh Padsala, the substitute Congress candidate, also had his nomination invalidated, leaving the main opposition party in Gujarat with no contestant in Surat.

What did the Election Commission say?

The uncontested victory sparked controversy, with the Congress alleging that the BJP had applied “wrong and undue influence” to force other candidates to withdraw from the race. They argued that the absence of a contested election deprived voters of their fundamental right to choose, including the opportunity to select NOTA (None Of The Above).

Responding to these accusations, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar clarified that the poll body could only intervene if there was solid evidence of candidates being forced into withdrawing. If the withdrawals were voluntary, the commission lacked the authority to intervene. “If candidates voluntarily withdraw their nominations, what can we do?” Mr Kumar questioned, claiming it was a “rumour” and a ploy to “spread doubt.” 

 The counting of votes for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections began at 8 am on Tuesday. However, even before the first official trends trickled in, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had already bagged the Surat Lok Sabha seat in Gujarat.    

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