AHMEDABAD: Surendranagar MP Devji Fatehpara, who was denied a ticket by the BJP for the April-May Lok Sabha polls, blamed two party colleagues for his ouster.
The BJP, which Saturday released a list of 15 candidates, dropped Fatehpara from Surendranagar and replaced him with Mahendra Munjpara.
Talking to reporters, Fatehpara said he had been denied a ticket at the behest of former minister Jayanti Kavadiya and MLA Dhanji Patel, a charge both of them denied.
“I have been denied a ticket at the behest of Jayanti Kavadiya and Dhanji Patel. Kavadiya has been against me for a long time. Now, he has got the company of Dhanji Patel. Both of them brought in Munjpara because they wanted someone who is obedient, someone who follows their orders,” Fatehpara told reporters in Rajkot.
While Kavadiya, a former MLA from Dhragandhra seat of Surendranagar, was a minister in the state government prior to 2017, Dhanji Patel won the 2017 Assembly polls from Wadhwan.
“The BJP has done injustice by denying me a ticket, despite the fact that I have done so much for the constituency and for its people,” Fatehpara claimed.
He also threatened to resign from the BJP and work for the Congress candidate in the Lok Sabha polls.
“In the coming days, I have called a meeting of Koli community leaders. If my community asks me to resign from the party, I will follow the order,” said Fatehpara.
He added he would put in his “best efforts” to ensure the victory of the Congress candidate (from Surendranagar) if his community asked him to do so.
Both Fatehpara and Munjpara are from the Koli community.
Patel and Kavadiya denied Fatehpara’s allegations, claiming the decision to drop the sitting Surendranagar MP was taken by the party’s top leadership.
“I am just an MLA. I don’t have any say in who would get a ticket and who won’t. It is the parliamentary board which takes such decisions,” said Patel.
In his defence, Kavadiya said, “These allegations are baseless. The party takes decisions on allotting or denying tickets. I do not have any such powers.”
The state goes to polls in a single phase on April 23.
Source: Press Trust of India