Embarrassed BJP suspends 7 rebels who filed nomination as independents

In the poll-bound Gujarat, the ruling BJP’s house is not in order. Several party rebels, who were denied tickets to accommodate the ‘parachute candidates’, have filed their nominations as independents in the ongoing assembly elections.

On Sunday, an embarrassed BJP suspended seven rebels from Saurashtra and South Gujarat for filing their nomination as independent candidates.

These include Harsad Vasava (Nandod assembly seat) Arvindbhai Ladani (Keshod), Chhatrasinh Gunjarsaria (Dhrangadhra), Ketan Patel (Pardi), Bharat Chavda (Rajkot rural), Uday Shah (Veraval) and Karan Baraiya (Rajula).

Also adding to BJP’s woes are six-time MLA Madhu Shrivastav (who is challenging his former party in Waghodia as an independent), Dinesh Patel from Padra, Dhavalsinh Zala from Bayad and cooperative leader Mavji Desai from Dhanera.

This is the first time that the Bharatiya Janata Party, that has been ruling Gujarat for the past 27 years, is facing such large-scale open revolts. Many political commentators also view it as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s waning popularity as well as disenchantment in the rank and files of the party due to the fact that the entire show in Gujarat is being run from Delhi with little say from the local leadership.  

The rebel BJP leaders are unhappy with candidates being brought in from “outside” like Rajulben Desai, Alpesh Thakor, Shankar Chaudhary and V.D. Zala, and calling them as “parachute candidates”. They insist that the party should have fielded only local candidates.

Some more suspensions are likely this week as there are others who are contesting as independent but have not formally resigned from the party.

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