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Gujarat Elections 2017 | I will join a party that approaches me first: Bhupendrasinh Khant

Defeating BJP’s Vikramsinh Dindor and Alpeshbhai Damor of Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) supported by the Congress, independent candidate from Morva Hadaf located in Panchmahal district won with 4,366 votes, thereby giving a shock to many.All eyes were on this seat as BJP had replaced its sitting MLA whereas Congress gave up the seat for an ally. While Bhupendrasinh Khant wanted to contest on Congress seat, he contested as an independent candidate when Congress gave up its seat to Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP).Speaking with DNA a day after the victory, Khant said that he is willing to join a party. He says, “As of now, I am happy being in the Opposition. No party has yet approached me. The party which approaches me first, I will join them.”Determined to wrest the seat, which his mother won in 2012, Khant garnered 58,513 votes as against BJP’s Dindor who got 54,147 votes. The seat was won by Khant’s mother Savita in 2012 with a margin of 11,289 votes. She had defeated BJP’s Bijalbhai Damor. While Savita had got 56,886 votes, Damor had got 45,597 votes. But Savita Khant died on the day results were declared, days after having passed into coma on the day of the elections.In 2013 by-election, Congress fielded Savita’s son Bhupendrasinh in the hope of winning back the seat on sympathy but lost. Interestingly, this year BJP changed its sitting MLA Nimisha Suthar to field Vikramsinh Dindor.Speaking about priorities, Khant said, “I will mainly focus on roads, drinking water and education. These are some of the core issues that people here have been facing for many years. I am happy that I won despite contesting as an independent candidate and shows people’s trust in me.”

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Gujarat Elections 2017: BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan ‘misbehaves’ with media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan, who is reportedly unhappy because his daughter-in-law, and not his wife, has been fielded by the party from the Kaalol Assembly seat in the upcoming Gujarat polls, allegedly pushed a cameraman and warned a reporter in Panchmahal district on Sunday, when the scribes asked for his reaction to the development.Video clips being telecast on local television news channels purportedly showed the MP pushing the reporter at the venue of a BJP event at Mora village in Morva Hadaf taluka of Panchmahal.Chauhan had come to the village to take part in the ‘Mann ki Baat, Chai ke Saath’ programme of the BJP.On Friday, the ruling party, in its fifth list of 13 candidates for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls, dropped the name of sitting MLA Arvindsinh Chauhan and instead, fielded Prabhatsinh Chauhan’s daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan from the Kaalol seat in Panchmahal district.Reportedly upset over the announcement, the Panchmahal MP wrote a letter to BJP chief Amit Shah, urging him to replace his daughter-in-law with a “local” candidate.Although, in the letter, Chauhan did not specifically demand that his wife Rangeshwari be given the party ticket, the MP had recently told reporters that she was the best candidate for the Kaalol seat.In the letter, Chauhan also alleged that his son Pravinsinh was a “bootlegger” and that he and his wife had even gone to jail.At the venue for the BJP event on Sunday, Chauhan allegedly grasped a television reporter’s hand when the latter asked him a question over the ticket allocation issue. The MP also allegedly talked to the reporter in a warning tone and pushed him back.The entire episode was captured on cameras. Chauhan was subsequently pacified by his supporters, who took him away from the mediapersons.Later, as he was leaving the venue, the MP reportedly got angry again at being asked questions by the media and allegedly hit one of the television cameras and pushed the cameraman. This incident was also captured by the television crew.The journalist, Hanif Bhagat, claimed that Chauhan not only grasped his hand, but also threatened him.”When I asked Chauhan to explain his side as regards the controversy, he got angry and grasped my hand. He then warned me saying, ‘do you want to get beaten up?’ Later, he attacked our cameraman outside the venue when another reporter tried to ask him a question,” said Bhagat, who works with “ABP Asmita”, a Gujarati news channel.Despite several requests to clear his stand over the issue of ticket allocation, Chauhan did not say anything and left the venue.In his letter to Shah, the MP had reportedly warned that he would not guarantee a victory for the saffron party from Kaalol or any of the seven Assembly seats under his LokSabha segment, if daughter-in-law Suman Chauhan was not replaced with someone of his choice.Chauhan, a prominent Rajput face in the region, who had joined the BJP in 1992, claimed that though he had single- handedly established the BJP’s dominance in Panchmahal district over the years, he was ignored by the party and not given any post in the organisation.The MP claimed that the BJP would not get even a single vote from the tribals in the upcoming Assembly polls. While Chauhan’s wife Rangeshwari is a tribal, his daughter-in-law is a Rajput.On Friday, after Rangeshwari came to know that she had been ignored in the ticket allocation, she targeted her husband in a fiery Facebook post, in which she dared him to enter Kaalol for poll campaigning. However, the post was deleted on Saturday. Despite repeated attempts, Chauhan could not be reached for comments on Sunday’s incident.The 182-member Gujarat Assembly will go to the polls in two phases — on December 9 and 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.

Vaghela resigns as Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran leader Shankersinh Vaghela, who quit the Congress two days ago, today resigned as Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly. He sent his resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi. In his letter shared with the media, the former chief minister alleged that he was forced to take this “tough decision” as some Congress leaders were conspiring against him ahead of the Assembly polls, expected to be held in Gujarat in December. On July 21, Vaghela on his 77th birthday had announced to quit the Congress at a public gathering of his supporters. Vaghela, who joined the Congress in 1998, claimed that just like some Congress leaders conspired against him in 2009, when he lost Godhara (Panchmahal) Lok Sabha seat, similar attempts were made to oust him from the party in recent times. “As I can see right now that once again history is repeating itself, as a well-planned conspiracy within the party is at work for ousting me during the forthcoming elections. Hence, I strongly feel that I should not remain in the party at the cost of my dignity and self-respect,” he said in the letter. Vaghela said since he has also decided to resign as the sitting Congress MLA of Kapadwanj seat, he will submit his resignation to the Gujarat Assembly speaker in the coming days. In his ‘farewell’ speech on Friday, Vaghela announced he would resign as MLA on August 15, after the Rajya Sabha polls, to be held on August 8. In the letter, Vaghela thanked Gandhi for making him Union minister in the UPA-1 government. Venting his anger on the Congress, Vaghela claimed he was left with no other option but to resign as his suggestions for the upcoming Assembly polls were not accepted. On Friday, the former RSS leader, who left the BJP 20 years ago and later joined the Congress, also announced that he will not join any political party, not even the BJP. Though he refused to divulge details about his future plans, he maintained he is not retiring from public life. Vaghela had been at loggerheads with the Congress leadership for quite some time over his demand that he be projected as the chief ministerial face in the poll-bound state. He had been contending that if he was projected as the CM candidate in the polls, the party would be able to take on the BJP effectively in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. Vaghela’s move comes close on the heels of the Congress failing to muster its entire strength in the presidential election held on July 17. Congress-backed candidate Meira Kumar could garner only 49 votes against the party’s strength of 57 in the state assembly.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

No SC relief for Teesta Setalvad in illegal exhumation of bodies case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Social activist Teesta Setalvad on Monday failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court in a case in which she is accused of having a role in the illegal exhumation of bodies of some victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots.The apex court said it would not be necessary to adjudicate on merits the plea filed by her against the Gujarat High Court order refusing to quash the FIR lodged against her at a police station in Panchmahal district regarding exhumation of the bodies from a graveyard near river Panam. A bench, comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, said it would be appropriate for Setalvad to seek the remedy before the trial court where the charge sheet has been filed. “When charge sheet is there, can’t you go and raise all these questions before the trial court,” the bench asked senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Setalvad.”It is not necessary to adjudicate the matter on merits,” the bench said while disposing her appeal against the high court order while giving her the liberty to approach the trial court. Sibal said though the charge sheet has been filed, no offence has been made out against Setalvad in the case. Earlier, the Gujarat government, in its affidavit, had justified its probe against Setalvad in the case saying she had actually planned and executed the digging of the graves without any permission in 2006.It had claimed that during the probe in the case, it had emerged that “Teesta Setalvad, the petitioner herein, was the main accused, who actually planned and executed this operation of digging of graves near Pandarwada through her staff.” The government had said the other accused have claimed innocence and blamed Setalvad for instigating them to carry out the exhumation, which is a penal offence. It had said the exhumation of the dead bodies without permission of the competent authorities constituted an offence under sections 192 (fabricating false evidence), 193 (punishment for false evidence, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 120-B criminal conspiracy), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 297 (trespassing on burial places) of the IPC.

Mind your business, don’t influence court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>State high court has taken a strong view against those elected representatives who thought fit to recommend temporary bail for convicts on various grounds. Coming down heavily on them, the court not only demanded written apologies from them in person on Wednesday, but directed the principal secretary of Panchayat and Rural Development and the principal secretary of Urban Housing and Development to issue notifications teaching them their duties, dos and don’ts.The seventh division bench of justice Abhilasha Kumari and justice AJ Shastri, while rejecting five temporary bail applications, observed, “If such recommendations came through once in a while, the court might have ignored them. But with each second temporary bail application, the convict is carrying a certificate from either the village sarpanch or a local councillor. It is not a part of their duty and is an attempt to influence the court. This has become a menace and a fashion. It is a direct interference in judicial proceedings and it cannot be tolerated further.” The court further opined, “It is clearly visible that these elected representatives are hand in gloves with the convicts and their family members. Instead of doing their duties, either under the Gujarat Panchayat Act or under the Gujarat Municipality Act, they are overzealous in recommending temporary bails. Their letterheads and seals are either lying at their homes or at a local paan/grocery shop instead of the panchayat office. Illiterate sarpanch’s certificates are either drafted by convict’s family members or by their husbands or sons. It seems as though this has become a family affair.”Court has directed government pleader Manisha Lavkumar and additional public prosecutors JK Shah and Ronak Raval to take up the matter with the concerned department.Unwanted limelightRamesh Solanki, sarpanch of Ingorada village in Bhavnagar, for convict Shamjibhai ParmarVasant Thakor, sarpanch of Vahedpura village in Patan, for convict Shaktabhai ThakorChetnaben Patel, sarpanch of Sankaliaata in Panchmahal, for convict Rajesh PatelShardaben Baraiya, sarpanch of Khanpur village in Panchmahal, for convict Ramsingh Pandor Councillor Babuhai Vasava of Bharuch municipality for convict Sandip Chauhan

BJP MP’s son booked after 3 held from his house for IPL betting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Son of the BJP’s Panchmahal MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan was booked on Sunday after police raided his premises in Mehlol village in Godhra tehsil last night and arrested three persons for allegedly betting on IPL matches. Police found some mobile phone handsets, an LCD TV set, and a laptop, collectively worth Rs 1.13 lakh, during the raid.Pravinsinh Chauhan, the son of the MP, had unsuccessfully contested the 2012 Assembly polls from Godhra constituency on the BJP ticket. He crossed over to the Congress last December. A local Crime Branch officer has clarified that Pravinsinh and his MP father live separately in their native village, and the latter has nothing to do with this incident.”Local Crime Branch sleuths raided the house belonging to Congress member Pravinsinh Chauhan, son of BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan, and arrested three persons for allegedly betting on the ongoing IPL matches. We have registered an FIR today,” said LCB police inspector D J Chavda.Pravinsinh was not present in the house when the raid was conducted.”However, as the premises used for betting belongs to him (Pravinsinh), he is an accused in the case. We have registered an FIR against him and initiated an investigation into his role,” Chavda said, adding that Pravinsinh has been booked under various sections of the Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act and Information Technology Act.The arrested trio are identified as Tekchand Kalwani, Jitendra Kalwani and Prakash Thakkar.

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