In a shocking development on Wednesday, the Congress lost control of the Kalol taluka panchayat in Gandhinagar after one of its members defected to the BJP and four others were ‘absent’ in the election to elect the new president and vice-president of the one area. The police arrested two of the four Congress representatives who did not show up to vote in the criminal case.
The legislators alleged that the BJP used the police to violate the law to gain power in the district by ensuring that four of them did not take part in the election of president and vice president of the taluka panchayat where he was in ‘government since 2021. Kalol taluka panchayat is part of Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency represented by Home Minister Amit Shah.
In 2021, the Congress won 15 seats against the BJP’s 11. Dhulaji Thakor and Narendrasinh Vaghela of the Congress were elected as president and president of the taluka panchayat. According to the law, their term ends after two and a half years. New elections were held on Wednesday to elect the president and vice president.
However, one of the Congress members Babitaben Thakor left the BJP and filed his nomination papers for the post of taluka panchayat president. BJP nominated Arpit Patel for the post of Vice President.
On the other hand, Congress nominated Nitaben Thakor and Shambhuji Thakor for the post of President and Vice President respectively.
Former Congress MLA and party leader Kalol Baldevji Thakor said that ahead of the election, the remaining 14 Congress MLAs were facing intense pressure from the BJP to leave. “To avoid that, 14 (delegates) had fled to Rajasthan six days ago. However, today, after the members returned since the voting was held, the police arrested two of our delegates for questioning. false. The BJP also misused its power to ensure that two of our members – Kanuji Chavda and Taraben Thakor – were not present at the polls today.”
According to Kalol Taluka Panchayat officials in conducting the election, the BJP won by getting 12 votes against 10 votes of Congress.
Sources in the taluka panchayat said four Congress representatives were absent from today’s polls including Narendrasinh Vaghela, Kanuji Chavda, Taraben Thakor and Sharmishtaben Patel.
Police arrested Vaghela and Patel in two separate criminal cases against them.
While the Congress has accused the BJP of “killing democracy” by misusing the police by arresting two of its MPs and ensure that there are no other two people, the BJP denied the allegation while saying that some members of the Congress wanted to join the BJP, but. were forced into the party before the election by confiscating their cell phones.
Refuting the allegations of the Congress, BJP MLA from Kalol, Laxmanji Thakor, said, “On the contrary, the relatives of some Congress representatives have approached us. They want help from us saying that delegates wanted to join the BJP, but the Congress kept them locked up by abducting them and not releasing them. We told them that it is their own thing.”
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The Congress MLAs, on Wednesday, staged a protest in the Gujarat Assembly in the Kalol taluka panchayat elections where they alleged that the BJP government has gained its power by misusing the police.
He added, “We did not put any pressure on anyone and the allegations are baseless.”
Gandhinagar SP Ravi Teja Vasamsetti denied the allegations of the Congress, saying that the two Congress MPs were arrested as there were criminal cases against them.