Congress candidate can't submit form as 'mandate' is snatched

Gujarat Congress today seemed to have lost the Visavadar assembly seat before the elections, as the party could not provide `mandate' to its candidate, paving way for a straight contest between former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and sitting BJP MLA Kanubhai Bhalala.

Junagadh Congress president Lilabhai Khuti said that an "unknown youth snatched the mandate away" from his hand and ran away when he went to Visavadar to hand over the mandate to the party candidate Ratibhai Mangoralia.

'Mandate' confirms that a person is an official candidate. Today was the last day of filing of nominations.

Traditionally, the seat has been with Keshubhai Patel, who left BJP this year to form Gujarat Parivartan Party.

Due to the large-scale unrest within the party after declaration of first list of candidates, Congress yesterday decided to give mandates to the selected candidates discreetly.

"We have requested the election commission officials to allow the candidature of Mangoralia on the basis of photocopy of mandate," Khuti added.

A police case has been registered against the unidentified youth.

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