Will Rathod win here after ‘losing’ in 2017?

Ahmedabad Mirror | 6 days ago | 25-11-2022 | 06:00 am

Will Rathod win here after ‘losing’ in 2017?

Congress has once again given ticket to Ashwin Rathod from the Dholka constituency. He had taken on BJP’s Bhupendrasinh Chudasama in 2017 and lost by a thin margin of 327 votes. Later, he challenged the outcome by alleging malpractice and manipulation in the counting of votes. The high court upheld his contention and declared the result void, though Rathod could not step into the Assembly even once despite being the rightful “winner”.Chudasama’s ministership remained intact as he immediately approached the Supreme Court which stayed the decision of the Gujarat High Court. The apex court, on May 20, 2020, granted stay on the order after hearing arguments tendered on behalf of Chudasama that the HC judge did not examine whether the 429 postal ballot votes were rightly rejected by the Returning Officer Dhaval Jani in 2017.Rathod’s lawyer Kapil Sibal had argued that manipulation was done by not counting the postal ballots before counting of EVM votes was taken up. The postal ballots were brought after 15 rounds of EVM counting. RO Jani had announced rejection of 429 postal votes, which were higher in number than the victory margin of 327 votes.Rathod, a small-time farmer and social worker, hopes to be “legally victorious” this time. He resides in Bhamsara village of Bavla taluka of Ahmedabad with wife, three children and parents. He is trying hard to get maximum votes this time. “I leave my house early in the morning at 7.30 and first meet local community leaders and convince them to vote in my favour. I also hold door-to-door campaigns and small public gatherings,” Rathod told Mirror.BJP has dropped Chudasama and fielded Kiritsinh Dabhi, who won the district panchayat elections, from Dholka. Dabhi is fighting Assembly polls for the first time.

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