Defeated Cong candidate moves Guj HC seeking to set aside BJP MLA's election

NewsDrum Desk
27 Jan 2023

Ahmedabad, Jan 27 (PTI) A former Congress MLA, who lost the 2022 state Assembly polls, has moved the Gujarat High Court seeking cancellation of a BJP candidate's election claiming that the latter had concealed facts while filing his nomination.

The Congress' Lalit Kagathara on Wednesday filed a petition before the High Court claiming that BJP MLA Durlabhji Dethariya had violated various provisions of the Representation of the People Act and therefore, his election should be set aside.

Kagathara, who won from Tankara seat in Morbi district in 2017, lost to Dethariya by a margin of 10,000 votes in the Assembly election held in December last year.

In his petition, the former legislator has claimed that Dethariya had not only committed mistakes in the nomination form, but he had also concealed facts about his assets, debt and business interests.

"Instead of writing 'Not Applicable', he left many columns blank, which is not allowed as per the law. He had not mentioned anything about his education or whether he had any social media account at the time of fighting the elections," Kagathara said in his petition.

He further alleged that though the BJP MLA owns a car and serves as a partner in four business entities, there was no mention of the same in his affidavit.

The Congress leader claimed that Dethariya has concealed some other important information such as loans taken by him and value of his movable and immovable assets.

Talking to reporters in Rajkot on Friday, Kagathara said he is confident that the high court will nullify Dethariya's election for such violations.

"I am not approaching the court because I have lost. I had raised these issues at the time of elections during the scrutiny process, but the Returning Officer, who may be under political pressure, accepted Dethariya's faulty nomination form. I also have the evidence to prove my case," the Congress leader said.

In his defence, Dethariya said Kagathara's petition was based on the form which he had submitted before the scrutiny, and the new form did not have any of those mistakes.

"In accordance with the law, I had submitted a new form during scrutiny itself after the RO gave me a chance to correct the errors in my old form. However, Kagathara has filed a petition based on my old form. I will give my explanation to the court when time comes," the BJP MLA said. PTI PJT PD ARU ARU

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