Coming down heavily on his own party over his “kidnapping" claims, AAP candidate from Surat (East) Kanchan Jariwala on Wednesday issued a video statement in which he purportedly said he “withdrew his nomination without any pressure" and by listening to his conscience after the voters of his constituency called him “anti-national" and “anti-Gujarat" for fighting the Gujarat assembly polls from the Aam Aadmi Party.
Jariwala was purportedly heard saying in the video, “People used to ask me during my campaign why I became a candidate of an anti-national and anti-Gujarat party. I listened to my inner voice. I withdrew my nomination without any pressure. I can’t support such a party."
Earlier in the day, AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that Jariwala was “kidnapped" at the behest of the BJP, which “feared" a defeat on the seat in the Gujarat polls. He claimed that his party’s Surat candidate had been missing along with his family members since Tuesday, adding that the last time he was seen was at the Election Commission’s office in Surat for scrutiny of his nomination papers.
Sisodia alleged that Jariwala was forced to withdraw his nomination when he went to the returning officer’s office.
“In this election, the BJP is miserably losing in Gujarat and has become so rattled that it has stooped to the level of kidnapping our candidate from Surat East. Fearing defeat, the BJP goons have kidnapped the AAP candidate from Surat, Kanchan Jariwala," Sisodia told reporters in Delhi.
Sisodia alleged that the BJP “goons" also tried to get Jariwala’s nomination cancelled, but the returning officer could not do so as there was no lacuna in his papers.
Furthermore, Sisodia appealed Election Commission of India (ECI) to take cognisance of the incident and “deploy all machinery to trace and bring back our party’s candidate and his family members".
Reacting to this, the poll body asked the Gujarat chief electoral officer (CEO) to inquire and take action “as warranted" into the allegations.
A four-member delegation of led Sisodia met the Commission officials this evening and handed over a representation. “Their representation received about alleged coercion of candidate from Surat East for withdrawing his candidature and taken to an undisclosed location. Representation has been sent to CEO Gujarat to enquire and take action as warranted," the ECI said.
(with inputs from PTI)
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