Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Explained | How BJP's Mukesh Dalal won in Surat unopposed

Surat's District Collector and Election Officer Saurabh Pardhi declared Mukesh Dalal's election official and presented him with the Certificate of Election, marking BJP's first victory in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. But how did this occur without a single vote being cast?
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 14:51 IST
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 14:51 IST

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BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal was on Monday elected unopposed from Surat Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat. This marks the first victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

"I declare that Mukeshkumar Chandrakant Dalal, sponsored by the BJP, has been duly elected to fill the seat in the House from Surat parliamentary constituency," district collector cum election officer Saurabh Pardhi told media persons as he handed over the Certificate of Election to Dalal.

But how and why was Dalal elected unopposed?

Kumbhani's candidacy rejection

Congress' Nilesh Kumbhani was supposed to contest the constituency against Dalal.

However, Kumbhani's candidature was rejected on Sunday after the district returning officer prima facie found discrepancies in the signature of the proposers.

The nomination form of Suresh Padsala, the Congress' substitute candidate from Surat, was also invalidated.

According to All About Belgaum, a Lok Sabha candidate requires electors from within the constituencies in which the candidate contests the election to propose the name of the candidate and sign the candidate's nomination paper.

A single proposer suffices for candidates affiliated with a recognised national or state party.

Conversely, if the candidate is associated with an unrecognised registered organisation or is running independently, ten proposers or electors from the constituency must endorse the nomination paper.

ECI, in its Handbook for Candidates, states that during election, crucial events are captured on video for evidence and analysis.

Returning Officer Sourabh Pardhi said in his order that the four nomination forms submitted by Kumbhani and Padsala were rejected after prima facie discrepancies were found in the signatures of the proposers, and they did not appear genuine.

The proposers, in their affidavits, stated that they had not signed the forms themselves, Pardhi's order informed.

Even the presence of the signatories was not found in the video footage examined at the request of the Congress candidate's lawyer, the order stated.

Independents withdraw candidature

Apart from Dalal and Kumbhani, the other seven candidates from the Surat constituency, including 4 independents and 3 from smaller parties and Pyarelal Bharti of Bahujan Samaj Party, withdrew their nomination papers on the last day, as per the Surat district election office.

This meant that Mukesh Dalal of BJP was the lone candidate standing for the constituency, and thus was elected without a single vote being cast.

Congress has alleged that Kumbhani's nomination form was rejected at the behest of the BJP and said it would challenge the rejection in the high court.

(With inputs from PTI)

Published 22 April 2024, 14:51 IST

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