The BJP is seeing divisions with regard to Gujarat’s Surat constituency after the first list of candidates was declared.
The city is currently represented by two-time MP Darshana Jardosh, who secured over 76% of the votes in the 2014 elections – a record for those polls. Jardosh, who is said to have played a significant role in the development of the city, is reportedly being sidelined this time around.
A few days ago, the first list of 15 candidates was declared by the BJP. In it, the name of the Surat candidate was deliberately kept out – possibly because of the potential for an internal feud.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Jardosh secured 7,18,412 votes while her nearest contender, Naishadh Desai from the Congress, managed to secure just 1,85,222 votes.
According to sources, Surat BJP president Nitin Bhajiawala has been successful in getting support for his candidacy and his name is to be officially declared in the next list. This would amount to snubbing Jardosh, even though she was instrumental in attracting female voters and enjoys a good reputation with the business community of Surat.
Jardosh is also heavily supported by the north and south Indian communities in Surat, which represent a large chunk of voters in the city.
According to sources, Jardosh is no longer close to influential BJP MP C.R. Patil, who has retained his candidature from Navsari. Patil plays a significant role in the distribution of tickets in the south Gujarat region.
According to some political analysts, if Jardosh was the BJP’s Surat candidate, her name would have featured in the first list. Bhajiawala’s camp has already begun to celebrate, in contrast to Jardosh’s camp, which looks grim.