This has paved the way for a straight fight between GPP president and former chief minister Keshubhai Patel and BJP MLA Kanubhai Bhalala for this constituency in Junagadh district.
EC officials said the mandate — the letter from the party that confirms a person being its official candidate — of Mangrolia was submitted five minutes after the deadline of 3 pm on Saturday, which was the last day of filing of nominations for the first phase of elections on December 13.
According to Congress leaders, an unidentified youth had snatched away the mandate from the hand of district party president Leela Khunti and fled when he went to Visavadar to hand over the paper to Mangoralia.
In the first list, the Congress had announced Harshad Ribadiya as its nominee for Visavadar. It was later changed to Mangoralia.
Traditionally, the seat has been with the BJP. Keshubhai, who left the BJP this year to form Gujarat Parivartan Party, had won the seat in 1995 and 1998 and became CM.
Party ‘replaces’ its candidate for ST-reserved Gandevi seat
The Congress on Monday cancelled the nomination of its firebrand MLA Kunwarji Harpati for the Gandevi constituency in Navsari district and gave the ‘mandate’ to former MLA Bharti Patel.
Gandevi is a reserved seat for Scheduled Tribes and Harpati, who represents Bardoli constituency in the Assembly, belongs to a Scheduled Caste.
Earlier, the Congress had given ticket to Bardoli MLA Harpati who filed his nomination papers a few days ago. Patel had also filled her nomination as a ‘dummy candidate’.
When the scrutiny of nominations was underway at the office of district election officer on Monday afternoon, Patel came with a recall mandate from the party, following which election officials cancelled Harpati’s nomination and approved Patel’s.
Patel, a tribal leader, was Congress MLA from 1985 to 1990 from Chikhli constituency in Navsari. She was re-elected from Chikhli in the 2002 Assembly elections.
“I am happy that the party has again selected me from Gandevi,” Patel told The Indian Express while expressing confidence that she would win.
She will be contesting against former BJP minister Mangu Patel.