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Gujarat BJP creates history: Mukesh Dalal declared winner in Surat LS seat after other candidates withdraw nominations

Eight contenders other than the BJP dropped their candidature for the Surat Lok Sabha seat since Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani's nomination form was canceled. Signatures of proposers for Nilesh Kumbhani were found to be fake.

In an unusual turn of events, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won the Surat Lok Sabha constituency without any opposition. The revocation of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani’s nomination, combined with the withdrawal of eight independent candidates, has cleared the way for the BJP’s Mukesh Dalal to be declared the Member of Parliament (MP) unopposed. An important turning point in India’s electoral history has been reached with this momentous development.

Even before the third phase of voting for the Gujarat Lok Sabha elections starts on May 7, the political landscape in the diamond city of Surat has changed dramatically. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won an unprecedented victory in the Surat Lok Sabha seat after the district election officer (DEO) rejected Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani’s candidature and eight independent candidates withdrew theirs on Monday (22nd April). 

According to sources, eight contenders other than the BJP dropped their candidature for the Surat Lok Sabha seat since Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani’s nomination form was rejected. The latest withdrawal was made by BSP candidate Pyarelal on 22nd April after which the BJP was declared the winner unchallenged. Around 2:30 PM, BSP candidate Pyarelal reached the Surat Collector’s office and withdrew his nomination paper.

Along with this, Surat became the country’s first uncontested Lok Sabha seat in the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. After the unopposed win, BJP’s Mukesh Dalal reached out to meet BJP state president CR Patil who congratulated him.

Notably, BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal earlier attacked Congress during one of his campaigns at Allpad saying, “The party which is dreaming of ruling the country by forming the government, its candidate’s forms are being canceled, what should it rule? The Congress is dying out all over the country.”

He further said, “Congress is going to end in the whole country and it is starting from Surat Lok Sabha seat. Congress has 52 MPs. But take my word for it, on June 4, the Congress will have enough heads left to fit in a small CT bus. Congress will get only 40 seats in the entire country.”

It should be mentioned that Surat politics got heated up over the previous two or three days after the BJP filed an objection petition against Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani. There were allegations that three supporters’ signatures in the Congress nomination were faked. After that, a hearing was convened on the matter and the Congress candidate’s form was canceled none of its supporters showed up. 

The concept of a candidate getting elected unopposed in parliamentary or assembly elections is uncommon in India’s complex democracy. However, such incidents have occurred on rare occasions throughout the country’s political history, dating back to the first general election in 1951.

Surat now adds another chapter to the saga of electoral anomalies, with the BJP’s Mukesh Dalal on track to become the constituency’s first uncontested MP.

The Election Commission of India’s guidebook for returning officers outlines the protocol for “unopposed returns.” It states that if there is only one contesting candidate in a constituency, they will be proclaimed properly elected immediately following the deadline for withdrawal of candidature. In this scenario, the need for a poll is eliminated, advancing the electoral process.

The last uncontested Lok Sabha election victory was in 1989, when Mohammad Shafi Bhat won from Srinagar. Since then, the electoral situation has been marked by intense campaigns, making Surat’s unchallenged election triumph a notable exception.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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