Congress workers destroy GPCC office property

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Ahmedabad, Nov 28 (UNI) Angry Congress workers, upset over denial of tickets to two of their candidates, today went on a rampage at the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) headquarters here, destroying office property and setting furniture on fire.

The workers, said to be supporters of former party MLA Surendra Rajput and former Mayor Himmatsinh Patel, broke open GPCC chief Bharatsinh Solanki's office this evening and set documents and furniture on fire. The incident was close on the heels of yesterday's incident when congress workers from Shaherkotda constitutency in Ahmedabad city and from Mehsana had staged a violent demonstration, breaking glass-panes and furniture.

With the Congress High Command deciding to leave Daripur seat to Lok Janshakti Party, supporters of Rajput claimed that he was the official candidate and he too filed his nomination. Mukesh Gurjar of LJP filed his nomination for the seat.

In Rakhial constituency, supporters of Patel and Dhirubhai Dudhwala clashed in which several persons, including a policeman, were injured.

Dudhwala has the support of dissident BJP MLA Gordhan Zhadphia, who is not contesting himself. Mr Zhadphia had suggested Mr Dudhwala's name to the Congress.

Daskroi Congress leader Pankaj Patel has quit from the post of the party secretary in protest against the ticket given to Madhobhai Thakur. He has faxed his message to party president Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and other senior leaders. However, he said that he would continue to work for the party as a ''loyal soldier''.

Mr Patel said he was deeply hurt by the behaviour of the top party leaders and alleged that the ''Congress was turning into a BJP-like party''. He said BJP dissidents were given party tickets at the cost of loyal Congressmen who had toiled for the party.

He said that top party leaders did not even have the courtesy to inform other ticket seekers that they would not get tickets. Party leaders should have shown this courtesy and asked all to support the candidate, who was alloted the party tickets, Patel added.

UNI

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