Gujarat: 6-time MLA rebels after being denied BJP ticket
Madhubhai Shrivastav—a six-time MLA from Waghodia in Vadodara, Gujarat, who won on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket in the previous Assembly elections—has rebelled after the ruling party declined to re-nominate him. He has quit the BJP and is contesting as an independent candidate in the upcoming Gujarat elections next month. He is a strongman politician and an accused in several communal riot cases.
Why does this story matter?
For the 182 seats of the Gujarat Assembly, the BJP has so far released a list of 160 candidates. It has dropped 38 sitting MLAs, including five ministers and the Assembly speaker, following which it is facing a mutiny from six leaders. The BJP also faced infighting in Himachal Pradesh, which went to polls on Saturday, where 21 of the total 68 constituencies saw rebels.
CM Patel has no say in nominations: Shrivastav
Shrivastav regretted joining the BJP at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah's insistence in 1995. He said Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel can't do anything about the nomination as "everything is decided from Delhi." He said he hasn't spoken to Patel as it is unnecessary because he has a "direct line" with Modi and Shah. Although he hasn't spoken to them either.
Shrivastav, other rebels refused to meet Harsh Sanghavi
The Vadodara district's BJP unit chief Ashwin Patel has been nominated in Shrivastav's place. The six-time MLA says Ashwin "has never even won a local election." He and the other five rebels reportedly refused to meet Gujarat's Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi, who was tasked with bringing around the rebels. Earlier, Shrivastav and his kin have been with Congress, Janata Dal, and other parties, too.
Goon in '80s, turned land developer, then became politician
Shrivastav said that, as an independent candidate in 1995, he won by a huge margin following which Modi and Shah approached him to join them. He was a well-known bootlegger and goon in Vadodara, who later took to the real estate business—a euphemism for land grabbing, reported Outlook. He is also accused of being involved in communal riots in 1985 and the 2002 Gujarat riots.