Ahmedabad: Congress workers stormed into the Gujarat party headquarters here on Monday and burnt posters of senior leader Bharatsinh Solanki to protest against the party’s decision to give the ticket to sitting MLA Imran Khedawala from his Jamalpur-Khadia seat in the city.
The angry protestors also damaged former Gujarat Congress chief Solanki’s nameplate and defaced the building’s walls by writing defamatory words against him with spray paint, alleging that he took money from Khedawala and deliberately ignored youth Congress leader and former councillor Shahnawaz Shaikh’s claim for this Muslim-dominated seat.
“Though local Congress workers, as well as the people of Jamalpur, were against sitting MLA Khedawala, some so-called leaders, who are running the party like their family estate, have taken arbitrary decisions and given a ticket to him,” a party worker claimed, demanding that Khedawala’s mandate be revoked.
“Instead of giving tickets to committed party workers like Shaikh, our leaders gave tickets to Khedwala after taking money. This is a conspiracy to give away the seat to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” another angry protester alleged.
Congress spokesperson Parthivraj Kathvadia said the party workers must maintain peace and respect the decision, and added that the party leadership will listen to them and find a solution.
The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has fielded former MLA and its present state unit president Sabir Kabliwala from the seat, while the BJP has given a ticket to its former MLA Bhushan Bhatt, who won in 2012 but lost to Khedawala in 2017.
Elections for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.