Surat BJP Lok Sabha Candidate Mukesh Dalal Scripts History With Unopposed Victory (VIDEO)

Surat BJP Lok Sabha Candidate Mukesh Dalal Scripts History With Unopposed Victory (VIDEO)

The cancellation of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani's nomination, coupled with the withdrawal of seven independent candidates, has paved the way for the BJP's Mukesh Dalal to be declared the Member of Parliament (MP) unopposed

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Monday, April 22, 2024, 05:56 PM IST
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Gujarat: Mukesh Dalal, BJP's candidate from the Surat Lok Sabha seat collects his winning certificate after he was elected unopposed | ANI | X

Surat: In an unprecedented turn of events, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that had bagged all 26 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 in Gujarat has opened its account with its candidate Mukesh Dalal winning the Surat seat declared as elected unopposed as all other candidates withdrew their names. Congress candidate Nilesh Khumbhani's nomination was rejected as his proposer backed out while other 8 independents also withdrew their names, letting Dalal win unopposed. Monday was the last day for withdrawal of the names. Also rejected was the nomination of the alternate Congress candidate Suresh Padsala.

Even before the commencement of the third phase of voting for the Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat on May 7, the political landscape in the diamond city of Surat has undergone a seismic shift. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is on the brink of achieving an unprecedented victory in the Surat Lok Sabha seat, with the district election officer (DEO) cancelling the nomination of Congress candidate Nilesh Kumbhani and seven independent candidates withdrawing their nominations on Monday.

Protocol of unopposed returns

The concept of a candidate being declared elected unopposed in parliamentary or assembly elections is rare in the intricate tapestry of India's democracy. Yet, throughout the nation's electoral history, there have been sporadic instances of such occurrences, dating back to the inaugural general election in 1951.

Now, Surat adds another chapter to this narrative of electoral anomalies as the BJP's Mukesh Dalal stands poised to make history as the first MP elected unopposed from the constituency. With no contender in sight, Dalal's ascension to the role of Member of Parliament is all but assured. “The BJP has been able to get the seven independent candidates to withdraw their nominations, while one candidate remains. The party hopes to get the unopposed scenario for its candidate Mukesh Dalal” said a BJP leader on condition of anonymity.

The Election Commission of India, in its handbook for returning officers, delineates the protocol for "unopposed returns." It stipulates that if there is only one contesting candidate in a constituency, they shall be declared duly elected immediately after the deadline for withdrawal of candidature. In such a scenario, the necessity for a poll is obviated, streamlining the electoral process.

Mohammad Shafi Bhat's victory in 1989

The last instance of an uncontested Lok Sabha election victory dates back to 1989 when Mohammad Shafi Bhat emerged triumphant from Srinagar. Since then, the electoral landscape has been characterized by spirited contests and competitive democracy, making Surat's forthcoming unopposed election victory a remarkable anomaly.

The significance of this moment cannot be overstated. Surat, known for its vibrant diamond industry and bustling commercial hub, will now be etched in the annals of electoral history for its unique contribution to India's democratic journey. As Mukesh Dalal prepares to assume office as the MP representing Surat, he does so against the backdrop of a political landscape forever altered by this unprecedented electoral outcome.

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