AAP candidate withdraws from Surat (east) assembly seat after high drama
AAP candidate Kanchan Jariwala withdrew his candidature from Surat (east) constituency, hours after the party leadership claimed that he was missing
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Gujarat’s Surat (East) assembly constituency, Kanchan Jariwala withdrew his candidature on Wednesday, hours after the party leadership claimed that he was missing.
Jariwala is the first AAP candidate in Gujarat to have withdrawn his candidature from the upcoming assembly elections.Surat (East) will now witness a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP.
After filing his nomination papers, Jariwala had allegedly gone missing with his family members for the last couple of days, the AAP Gujarat chief ministerial candidate Isudan Gadhvi alleged on Wednesday morning.
“BJP is so scared of ‘AAP’ that it has come on hooliganism! BJP was behind our Kanchan Jariwala contesting from Surat East for few days and today he is missing! It is believed that BJP’s goons have taken them away! His family is also missing! How much will the BJP fall?” he tweeted. His tweet was retweeted by Delhi chief minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and several other AAP leaders.
“Our candidate from Surat (East), Kanchan Jariwala, and his family missing since yesterday. First, BJP tried to get his nomination rejected. But his nomination was accepted. Later, he was being pressurised to withdraw his nomination. Has he been kidnapped?” Kejriwal tweeted.
A senior AAP leader in Gujarat alleged that after filing his nomination from Surat East seat, Jariwala’s family was allegedly under pressure to withdraw from the contest. A BJP leader, who did not want to be named, however, countered it saying that the AAP is desperately trying to capture limelight by making such baseless allegations. “Let them first file a complaint if their candidate or their family members are missing. The investigating authority will find out the truth,” he said.
After a high-voltage drama, Kanchan Jariwala, flanked by his supporters, declared that he was withdrawing from the contest. “I will withdraw my nomination from the Surat (East) constituency,” he told reporters in Surat.
Aslam Cyclewala, Congress candidate on Surat (East) seat said, “Kanchan Jariwala posed a serious threat to the winning prospects of sitting MLA Arvind Rana. The BJP was chasing Jariwala for the last many days and finally they were successful in getting him to withdraw his nomination. The AAP is the proxy face of the saffron party and the BJP and they are hand-in-gloves in the entire exercise.”
When contacted, Rana said, “It is an independent decision of the AAP candidate to withdraw his candidacy, the BJP has no role to play. We are pretty sure to once again win the Surat (East) seat with a huge margin”
The Surat (East) assembly seat has a majority of minority votes out of the total 2.14 lakh voters. There are 92,000 Muslim voters, followed by 42,000 voters of Rajputs, Ganchi and traditional Surti communities, 20,000 Khatris, 25,000 voters from the OBC , 10,000 Jains etc. BJP’s sitting MLA, Arvind Rana is contesting for the second consecutive term. The last time the Congress won the seat was in 2002, when Manish Gilitwala got elected.