Who is Mukesh Dalal, the first candidate to be declared winner in LS polls 2024? - Hindustan Times

Who is Mukesh Dalal, the first candidate to be declared winner in LS polls 2024?

Apr 23, 2024 08:38 PM IST

Mukesh Dalal was declared elected unopposed after nominations of two candidates from the Congress were cancelled and others withdrew their nominations

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha candidate from Gujarat’s Surat, Mukesh Dalal was declared elected unopposed on April 22, the last date for withdrawal of candidature, after nominations of two candidates from the Congress were cancelled and others withdrew their nominations.

Who is Mukesh Dalal, the first candidate to be declared winner in LS polls 2024?
Who is Mukesh Dalal, the first candidate to be declared winner in LS polls 2024?

Dalal, a first-time electoral contender who has previously served as the party secretary, thus secured victory even before the polling commenced. Born in Surat on May 8, 1961, Dalal holds bachelor’s degrees in commerce and law and a master’s in business administration.

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“The first lotus has bloomed from Surat and I offer it at the feet of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I am confident that we will accomplish the target of 400 seats,” said Dalal.

Dalal joined the BJP in 1981 and later took membership in the Surat District Cricket Association committee. He was elected as a corporator for the Surat Municipal Corporation from the Adajan-Pal-Palanpor area, a role he held from 2005 to 2020. He served as the standing committee chairperson for five terms during his tenure. He had been the BJP’s Surat city secretary for three years.

He was the director and later the chairman of the People’s Cooperative Bank in Surat. The BJP, which won all the 26 seats in 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat, had chosen Dalal over sitting member of Parliament (MP) and Union minister Darshana Jardosh.

Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel congratulated Dalal in a message on X,

“This is the beginning of the historic victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the whole of India, including Gujarat, in the Lok Sabha elections. This is a clear indication of the lotus blossoming with BJP’s resounding victory in all 26 seats in Gujarat and the realisation of the resolve of #AbKiBaar400Paar under the leadership of Hon’ble Modiji,” Patel wrote.

Surat has been a stronghold of the BJP since 1989. The city had been represented by BJP stalwart Kashiram Rana for six consecutive terms. It was the constituency of the seventh Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai, who served as an MP for five terms.

The opposition INDIA bloc has termed Dalal’s uncontested victory from Surat as a step towards destroying the Constitution.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said, “Taking away the people’s right to elect their leader is another step towards destroying the Constitution of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Again, I am saying - this is not just an election to form a government, this is an election to save the country, this is an election to protect the Constitution.”

The candidacy of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani was declined on Sunday after district returning officer Saurabh Pardhi found discrepancies in the signature of the proposers. Suresh Padsala, the substitute candidate from the Congress for Surat, also had his nomination form rejected on Sunday.

In his order, Pardhi said 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, said that they had not signed the forms themselves, as per Pardhi’s order.

“The people of Surat LS constituency including many first-time voters could not participate in the election process due to the negligent behaviour of the Congress,” said Dalal.

The eight candidates who withdrew their nominations on April 22, making way for Dalal to win the contest unopposed, included Pyarelal Bharati from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Soheil Shekh from the Log Party, Jayeshbahi Mevada from the Global Republican Party, and independents Bharatbhai Prajapti, Ajitsinh Bhupatsinh Umat, Kishorebhai Dayani, Baraiya Rameshbhai Parsottambhai. Abdul Hamid Khan from the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Party also withdrew his candidature on April 22.

Mevada of the Global Republican Party said, “If a party like Congress can bow down, then we should all salute Modi saheb and help him create history. I have backed out so that the Surat Lok Sabha seat can create history. I fail to understand how Congress can give tickets to such candidates whose forms get rejected. They (Congress) lack proper advisors and they seem to lack the political will to fight this Lok Sabha elections.”

Gujarat Congress chief Shaktisinh Gohil said that their legal team is exploring all options based on which further actions will be decided. “The elections are meant to be free and fair and should be held fearlessly, which does not seem to be the case here. When the BJP could not influence our Surat candidate, they seem to have used all kinds of pressure tactics to influence the approvers,” he said.

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