NCP’s lone MLA in Gujarat resigns after being denied ticket, files nomination as SP candidate

Porbandar: The Nationalist Congress Party’s lone Gujarat MLA Kandhal Jadeja resigned from the party on Monday after he was denied a ticket for the next month’s Assembly polls. Hours later, he joined Samajwadi Party and filed a nomination from home turf Kutiyana. The development comes on the last day of filing of nominations for the first phase of elections scheduled on December 1. 89 of the total 182 seats will vote in the first phase, including Kutiyana.

“After resigning from NCP, Jadeja formally joined Akhilesh Yadav-led SP and filed his nomination papers on our mandate,” said Ramsevak Sahani, General Secretary, Gujarat unit of Samajwadi Party.

Jadeja told reporters he submitted his nomination papers again on Monday, this time as the SP candidate.

He filed his nomination on November 11 despite not having a mandate from the NCP.

Jadeja won the Kutiyana seat in Porbandar district in the 2012 and 2017 elections as an NCP candidate, but this time the NCP and Congress have forged an alliance and the seat is not part of the electoral understanding between the two parties.

In the last Assembly polls, Jadeja had defeated candidates of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress as the NCP had not allied with the Congress.

In a letter to Gujarat NCP chief Jayant Patel aka Jayant Boskey on Monday, Jadeja said he is resigning from all the party posts and primary membership as he has been denied the ticket this time.

On November 11, the NCP and the Gujarat Congress entered into a pre-poll alliance, as part of which the Sharad Pawar-led party will contest three seats – Umreth in Anand district, Naroda in Ahmedabad and Devgadh Baria in Dahod district – currently held by the BJP.

The same day, Jadeja filed his nomination papers for the Kutiyana seat claiming he had permission to do so from NCP’s national vice president Praful Patel.

He had also exuded confidence that he would get the party’s mandate afterwards.

After the seat agreement announcement, Congress fielded Natha Odedara from Kutiyana, as the seat was not a part of the alliance.

Sharad Pawar to lead NCP’s Gujarat Assembly poll campaign

NCP chief Sharad Pawar will lead the party’s campaign for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections along with senior leaders, the party announced on Monday.

The NCP released its list of 31-star campaigners, including former Union minister Praful Patel, Maharashtra unit president Jayant Patil, senior leaders Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, Chhagan Bhujbal, and spokesman Clyde Crasto, among others.

The NCP is contesting the Gujarat assembly elections in alliance with the Congress.

The Pawar-led party will contest three seats – Umreth (Anand district), Naroda (Ahmedabad) and Devgadh Baria (Dahod district) as part of the alliance with Congress.

Elections in Gujarat will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5, and the counting of votes will take place on December 8.