In a major blow to state education minister Bhupendra Chudasama, Supreme Court rejected his plea seeking rejection of an election petition against him pending before the Gujarat High Court. The minister had been seeking quashing of a petition moved by a Congress leader challenging his election in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections.
As per the case details, the Assembly elections for the Dholka constituency were held on December 14, 2017, and the results were declared on December 18. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chudasama had won with thin margin of 327 votes in the 2017 assembly polls. His contestant and Congress candidate Ashwin Rathod had challenged Chudasama’s victory in February this year.
Rathod’s contention is that the rejection of 429 votes received through postal ballots was illegal and resulted in Chudasama winning the election.
He has also contended that the then deputy collector of Dholka, Gaurang Prajapati, who was supposed to be the returning officer as per his designation, was removed after the election code of conduct was implemented. In place of Prajapati, a Dhavan Jani was posted at Dholka with an aim to increase Chudasama’s prospects of winning the election.