Cong contest ‘snatched’ away

Cong contest snatched away

A strange incident has led to the possibility of Congress failing to put up its candidate against BJP rebel and former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel from Visavadar Assembly seat in Gujarat. The reason being the "mandate" — the letter from the party that confirms a person being its official candidate — was allegedly snatched away by an unidentified youth.

"A youth snatched away the mandate from my hand while I was on my way to Visavadar to hand it over to our party nominee Ratibhai Mangoralia," said Junagadh Congress president Lilabhai Khuti. In the first list, the Congress had announced Harshad Ribadiya as its nominee for Visavadar. It was later changed to Mangrolia.

The party later provided the mandate through fax, which was submitted to the EC at 3.05 pm — five minutes after the deadline. Today was the last day of filing of the nominations.

"We have requested the election officials to allow Mangoralia's candidature," Khuti said. If the election official does not accept Congress leader's request, it would mean that Keshubhai will face a direct contest from sitting BJP MLA Kanubhai Bhalala. Traditionally, the seat has been with the BJP. Keshubhai, who left BJP this year to form Gujarat Parivartan Party, twice won the seat in 1995 and 1998 and became the Chief Minister.

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