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Lok Sabha polls 2024 | 'Blot on democracy', Congress suspends leader for 'carelessness', 'colluding' with BJP in Surat

Party's Surat Lok Sabha candidate Nilesh Kumbhani's candidature was cancelled on the ground of 'discrepancies in the signature of proposers.'
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 10:31 IST
Last Updated : 26 April 2024, 10:31 IST

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Ahmedabad: Five days after Congress' Surat Lok Sabha candidate Nilesh Kumbhani's candidature was rejected on the ground of discrepancies in his proposers' signatures, leading to BJP candidate's unopposed victory, The party on Friday labelled the move as a 'blot on democracy' and suspended him for 'carelessness' and 'collusion' with the BJP for six years.

Addressed to Kumbhani, the letter reads, "With regards to cancellation of your form, your complete carelessness and collusion with the Bharatiya Janata Party is quite evident. Despite this, according to the principle of natural justice, the ethics committee granted you time to explain your side. But, you have dramatically disappeared and didn't explain yourself because of which party is suspending you for six years." The letter has been signed by Balubhai Patel, committee ethics committee.

On April 21, the returning officer and district collector Sourabha Pardhi canceled the candidature of Kumbhani on the ground of "discrepancies in the signature of proposers." The proposers, reportedly related to Kumbhani, had filed affidavits claiming they had not signed the forms, which Kumbhani had submitted. On the other hand, Congress had alleged that the proposers were abducted by the BJP, which the party denied and pointed to the affidavits.

On April 22, eight other candidates including one from BSP withdrew their forms in a dramatic turn of events leading to the victory of BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal unopposed. Since then, Kumbhani and his proposers were "untraceable."

The suspension letter terms the cancellation of Kumbhani's candidature as the "most unfortunate incident" and withdrawal of other candidates from the election as a "blot on democracy." It alleges that "the BJP killed the democracy by abusing the system and forcing the other candidates to withdraw their candidatures by using greed, fear and harassment."

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Published 26 April 2024, 10:31 IST

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