Four candidates, who lost in the Gujarat Assembly polls in December 2022, have approached the High Court to seek review of the results under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Among the four candidates, two are from the Congress — Lalit Kagthra who lost from Tankara (Morbi) to BJP’s Durabh Vekaria and Raghu Desai who lost from Radhanpur (Patan) to BJP candidate Muljiji Solanki – and two from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — Harshad Ribdia who lost to AAP’s Bhupendra Bhayani from Visavdar (Junagadh) and Hitesh Vasava who also lost to AAPs Chaitar Vasava from Dediapara, a ST reserved seat in Narmada district.
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Cong candidates seek review
Lalit Kagathara’s petition said: “During the poll, several errors were pointed out in the affidavit of the BJP candidate Durabh Vekaria. It was brough to the notice of the Returning Officer (RO) many a times but the RO did not take it seriously and refused to look into my complaint properly. Besides giving wrong information on his form, Vekaria had left more than 13 columns blank in his form which were mandatory to be filled. For instance, he wrote that he was educated up to SSC without mentioning the year in which he passed, which is mandatory.”
“Moreover, Vekaria has also not disclosed his bank account details, income tax returns and details about his immovable property,” he added.
Congress candidate Raghu Desai stated in his petition that following the voting, he was awarded with a certificate stating results of a total of 58 per cent voting. However, the RO later declared that the constituency had witnessed 64 per cent voting.
Both the petitioners from the Congress have made the Election Commission and Returning Officer a party to their respective applications.
BJP candidates’ petitions
BJP candidates’BJP’s Harshad Ribdia’s petition states that the winning candidate, AAP’s Bhupendra Bhayani, did not disclose the details of civil and criminal cases against him in his affidavit along with the information about the factories owned by his sons.
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BJPs’s Hitesh Vasava has filed a petition challenging the victory of Chaitar Vasava from Dediapara, a seat reserved for scheduled tribes in Narmada district. Chaitar Vasava, the 37-year-old tribal leader and former member of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), had won the seat by beating the BJP candidate by a margin of 40,282 votes. He had bagged 1.02 lakh votes, the highest polled for an AAP candidate in the assembly polls.