Ahmedabad: In a big setback for the BJP, sitting party MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan from Panchmahal has rebelled against the party after his wife was denied a ticket.
The two-time Lok Sabha MP and five-times MLA was seeking a ticket for his wife Ramilben Chauhan from Kalol in central Gujarat. Chouhan has announced that his wife would now contest as an independent candidate against the official party nominee.
Chouhan is a local OBC strongman who has also served as minister for seven years from 2002 to 2009 when Narendra Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat.
He is the second sitting MP in the BJP to have openly expressed displeasure on being denied assembly ticket to their immediate family. Patan MP Leeladhar Vaghela had earlier sought ticket for his son from Deesa assembly seat in North Gujarat.
There have also been several resignations from the BJP after the party announced its first list of candidates for 70 seats, despite party leaders claiming that the choices made were unanimous.
Vijaysinh Patel, a member of the Bharuch district panchayat, quit the party, protesting against the Ankleshwar assembly seat being given to Ishwarsinh Patel, the sitting MLA from the seat. Vijaysinh and Ishwarsinh are brothers.
In Saurashtra, where the BJP is already facing the prospect of losing a section of Patidar votes, opposition was seen in the Mahuva, Jasdan and Amreli seats. Mahuva councillor Bipin Sanghvi quit the after the party decided to go with Raghavjibhai Makwana from the seat once again.
In central Gujarat, Kamlesh Parmar, leader of opposition in the Congress-ruled Vadodara district panchayat, too, quit and has threatened to contest as an independent from the Padra assembly seat in Vadodara after Dinesh Patel was given the seat. Patel has been MLA from the seat in the last two terms.
The Adivasi Ekta Manch, a front supported by the BJP, has threatened to field as many as ten candidates in tribal dominated seats of south Gujarat. The Manch said that its leaders have not been given enough representation by the BJP in the list of candidates announced.