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Congress Candidate Disqualified, BJP Secures Unopposed Win in Surat

The election battle in Surat took an unexpected turn on April 21 when the Returning Officer rejected the nomination forms of Congress party candidates.

“The signatures on the nomination forms needed to be more genuine,” said Sourabh Pardhi, the district Returning Officer.

Both Nilesh Kumbhani, the initial Congress nominee, and the backup candidate Suresh Padsala had their nominations invalidated due to alleged discrepancies in the proposers’ signatures.

“The proposers denied having signed the forms themselves,” a Congress source stated.

This leaves the BJP’s Mukesh Dalal as the sole major candidate contesting from Surat.

Kumbhani defended the signatures, saying, “A handwriting expert and the signatories should verify them.”

However, the Returning Officer confirmed the rejections based on affidavits and additional evidence presented during scrutiny.

“We will challenge the decision in higher courts,” said Babu Mangukiya, the Congress party’s lawyer.

Mukesh Dalal, a veteran in local politics, has held key positions like Chairman of the Surat Municipal Corporation’s Standing Committee and is currently the BJP city unit’s General Secretary.

Surat, responsible for most of the world’s diamond cutting and polishing trade, has been a BJP stronghold since 1989, with the party winning consistently with substantial margins.

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