Congress candidate's nomination invalidated provisionally in Surat

Surat, Apr 20 (IANS): The nomination form of Nilesh Kumbhani, the Congress candidate for the Surat Lok Sabha seat, has come under scrutiny.

The election officer has provisionally invalidated Kumbhani's nomination after three proposers — Ramesh Palara, Jagdish Savaliya, and Dhruvin Dhameliya — claimed they had not signed his nomination form. They presented themselves before the election officer with an affidavit to substantiate their claim. Surat has favored BJP candidates since the 1990s by considerable margins.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, AAP leader Gopal Italia has suggested that the proposers alleging forgery might be under duress, possibly coerced or even kidnapped, given their affiliation with the party. He raised concerns about the pressure they might be facing.

This issue arises just as the deadline for filing nomination papers, April 19, has passed. The Congress party had also nominated Suresh Padsala as a backup candidate, but his nomination form faces the same allegations of unauthorized signatures.

In response to the potential invalidation of their nominations, both Kumbhani and Padsala have enlisted legal representation. Advocate Sheikh represents Kumbhani, and Babu Mangukiya represents Padsala. They have requested additional time to address the concerns before the election officer makes a final decision, and the deadline has been extended to noon the following day.

Amidst this electoral controversy, Congress spokesperson Naishad Desai stated that the party is prepared to challenge the election officer’s impending decision in court if it is unfavorable.



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Title: Congress candidate's nomination invalidated provisionally in Surat

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