BJP’s Mokariya, Anavadia file nomination for Gujarat RS bypolls

BJP’s Rambhai Mokariya and Dineshbhai Prajapati Anavadia on Thursday filed their nominations for Rajya Sabha bypolls on two vacant seats in Gujarat. After a gap of five years, it seems the Rajya Sabha elections will go uncontested by the Congress, as there have been no nominations filed by the party.

Both the leaders from the saffron party, after getting the mandate from the high command, handed over their nominations to the Returning Officer in the Gujarat Assembly.

Rambhai Mokariya, the founder of the established Maruti Couriers, is an old warrior of the BJP based in Rajkot. He was also a member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) from 1974 and later joined the Jan Sangh in 1978. Since then, he’s been with the BJP. He hails from the Brahmin community.

“I will raise issues like that of the SagarKhedu (fishermen), Rajkot’s medium and small industries. There are no issues of the Brahmin community. But I will try to raise such issues like that of unemployment,” said Mokariya.

Dineshbhai Prajapati Anavadia hails from an OBC community and is from the northern part of Gujarat of Deesa, Banaskantha. He heads the BJP Bakshipanch Morcha. He was the BJP Banaskantha district general secretary.

“It would be early to say that these candidates will win unopposed. But both our candidates have filed nominations,” said Gujarat BJP chief C.R. Patil.

Bypolls for the two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat are scheduled on March 1.

The Election Commission had decided to hold two separate bye-elections for Gujarat to fill up the vacancies owing to deaths of Congress’ Ahmed Patel and BJP’s Abhay Bhardwaj, both of whom succumbed to Covid-19 last year.

The scrutiny of the nominations will take place on February 19, whereas the last day of withdrawal of application forms is February 22.

The polls will be held on the March 1. The counting of the votes will be held the same day at 5 pm. The entire election process will be completed on March 3.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in 2017 and his term was to end on August 18, 2023. He died on November 25 last year.

Similarly, newly-elected BJP Rajya Sabha member Abhay Bhardwaj died on December 1 last year. Bhardwaj had been elected in June 2020 and his term was to end on June 21, 2026.