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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Congress' Surat candidate Kumbhani's nomination rejected over proposers' sign discrepancies

The development has pushed out the Congress from the contest in Surat as the candidature of Kumbhani's substitute was also rejected on similar grounds.
Last Updated : 21 April 2024, 11:10 IST
Last Updated : 21 April 2024, 11:10 IST

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Ahmedabad: The candidature of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani from Surat Lok Sabha seat on Sunday was rejected on the ground of "discrepancies in the signature of proposers", leaving the party red-faced ahead of the polls.

The development has pushed out the Congress from the contest in Surat as the candidature of Kumbhani's substitute was also rejected on similar grounds. Congress is contesting from 24 out of 26 Lok Sabha seats as it has allowed two seats to Aam Aadmi Party as part of the alliance.

Returning officer (RO) and Surat collector Sourabh Pardhi rejected the nomination under section 36 (2) of Representation of the People Act, 1951 which gives the right to RO to examine the papers and objections raised against the nominations. The law says that RO can cancel the nomination on the ground that "the signature of the candidate or the proposer on the nomination paper is not genuine."

After the decision, Gujarat Congress Chief Shaktisinh Gohil in a press conference alleged that "nomination was rejected at the behest of BJP." Claiming the shocker as a "murder of democracy," Gohil said that the party is challenging the decision in high court. He also alleged that it was part of a "conspiracy" to get Congress candidates' cancelled by hook or by crook.

Gohil cited a past incident when the nomination form of Aam Aadmi Party's candidate from Surat-East assembly seat in the 2022 election was not cancelled despite two proposers' claim that they had not signed the papers.

Earlier on Saturday, BJP had objected to nomination forms of Kumbhani following which the RO asked the Congress candidates to present their case on Sunday in a special hearing. Kumbhani submitted that his proposers had signed the papers in his presence and the authenticity of them should be checked by handwriting experts.

However, the RO considered the affidavits of the proposers who claimed that they hadn't signed the papers.

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Published 21 April 2024, 11:10 IST

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