True face of dictator: Rahul Gandhi after BJP candidate declared 'elected' from Surat

Mukesh Dalal secured his 'victory' after all other candidates withdrew their nomination papers on the final day

Rahul Gandhi at an election rally in Bhagalpur, Bihar (photo: PTI)
Rahul Gandhi at an election rally in Bhagalpur, Bihar (photo: PTI)

NH Political Bureau

Following the uncontested 'election' of BJP candidate Mukesh Dalal from the Surat Lok Sabha constituency, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said the "true face of the dictator" had reappeared in the country, punning on the word surat, which means face in Hindi.

Dalal secured his victory without opposition after all other candidates, including four Independents, three from smaller parties, and Pyarelal Bharti of the Bahujan Samaj Party, withdrew their nomination papers on the final day.

The cancellation of two Congress candidates' nominations on Sunday dealt a blow to the main Opposition party in Gujarat. Nilesh Kumbhani's candidature was first annulled for alleged discrepancies in proposers' signatures, followed by the rejection of back-up candidate Suresh Padsala's nomination form.

Tanashah ki asli ‘Surat’ ek baar phir desh ke saamne hai (the true face of the dictator is once again in front of the country)!” Gandhi said in a post in Hindi on X.

"Taking away the right of the people to choose their leader is another step towards destroying the Constitution of Baba Saheb Ambedkar," he added, asserting that the ongoing Lok Sabha elections are not just to form a government but an election to "save the country" and to "protect the Constitution".

Kumbhani's nomination were dismissed under Section 36(2) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, allowing ROs to reject nominations based on valid objections. 

Gujarat Congress chief Shaktisinh Gohil accused the BJP of sabotaging the nomination and labelled the incident a "murder of democracy". Congress MP Jairam Ramesh also slammed the development, alleging a threat to democracy. He accused the BJP of manipulating the Surat polls owing to anxiety over the distress within India's MSME sector and public dissatisfaction.

The Congress has urged the Election Commission of India to cancel the election in Surat and lodged 16 complaints against the BJP with the commission.

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