Niraj Jain front runner for BJP ticket in Godhra

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Vadodara, Nov 24 (UNI) Advocate Niraj Jain, a firebrand BJP leader, is likely to get a party ticket to contest from Godhra, which played a significant role in shaping the 2002 Gujarat Assembly elections results.

The BJP Central Parliamentary Party, which last night declared the names of six party candidates for Santrampur, Rajgadh, Halol, Kalol, Shehra and Lunavada Assembly constituencies in Panchmahals district, is likely to announce its candidate for the all important Godhra seat tonight.

According to party sources, the BJP has decided to do away with its sitting Godhra MLA Haresh Bhatt, after he was caught on tape in a Tehelka sting operation admitting his involvement in the post-Godhra violence. Mr Bhatt also allegedly named Chief Minister Narendra Modi for providing moral support to them, which caused a major embarrassment to the government.

Sources close to Mr Jain, who heads the party's legal cell in Vadodara, claimed that the nomination of Mr Jain is certain as all the other aspirants for the party ticket in Godhra have finally supported his candidature.

In the infamous Best Bakery massacre case, Mr Jain had fought for the 21 accused in the trial court here, which acquitted all for lack of evidence.

Godhra, a traditional non-Congress seat, was wrested by BJP in 2002 polls from the Janata Dal, with Mr Bhatt winning the seat with a margin of over 12,000 votes over his nearest Congress rival Rajendrasinh Patel.

Ever since the Tehelka tape expose in October last, Mr Bhatt who was staying in a rented house in the Pravakunj Society in the town, has virtually fled from his home to keep himself away from media.


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