Chudasama likely to contest as independent from Vadodara rural

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Vadodara, Nov 24 (UNI) Taking exception to denial of a party ticket, sitting BJP MLA from Vadodara rural Dilubha Chudasama today hinted at the possibility of contesting next month's Assembly elections in Gujarat as an independent.

Mr Chudasama, elected from Vadodara rural for two consecutive terms in 1998 and 2002 elections, was hoping to make a hat-trick this time on a BJP ticket. However, he was surprised when the party replaced him with Savli's sitting MLA Upendrasinh Gohil in the first list of 83 candidates announced last night for the second phase of elections scheduled to beheld on December 16.

Expressing his shock and anguish over denial of a ticket, Mr Chudasama who last won the Vadodara rural seat by defeating GPCC treasurer Anul Patel by a margin of over 35,000 votes, said ''I have been hurt by the party high command's decision and seek an explanation from the party for this treatment meted out to an honest and dedicated worker like me.'' Sources close to the aggrieved MLA said Mr Chudasama is likely to contest the polls as an independent after meeting his supporters in his constituency tonight.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi has rushed two of his senior cabinet colleagues -- Amit Shah and Ashok Bhatt -- to Vadodara as part of a damage control exercise after the party denied ticket to seven out of its 13 sitting MLAs in the district, which would go to polls on December 16.

The two ministers today held a series of meetings with district party functionaries, ticket aspirants and other leaders to take stock of the situation and tackle the possibility of dissention in the party's rank and file.

In the 2002 polls, Narendra Modi-led BJP had made a clean sweep in Vadodara, winning all the 13 assembly seats in the district.

While deciding to repeat controversial MLA from Waghodia Madhu Srivastava along with minister Bhupendra Lakhawala (Vadodara city), film star Naresh Kanodia (Karjan-sc), Yogesh Patel (Raopura), the party has dropped five sitting MLAs representing tribal-dominated constituencies of Chhotaudepur, Jetpur, Nasvadi, Sankheda and Dabhoi in eastern Vadodara from the list, with a view to introducing new faces.

In Padra, ailing sitting MLA Punam Parmar was replaced by Dr Takhatsinh Parmar, while state BJP Yuva Morch general secretary Jigar Inamdar fielded from Savli as Upendrasinh Gohil was shifted to Vadodara rural.

UNI

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