Along with voting in all the 26 parliamentary constituencies in Gujarat, by-elections will also be held Tuesday on four assembly seats, which fell vacant following the resignation of sitting Congress lawmakers who later joined the ruling BJP.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) had notified by-elections on a total of five assembly seats in Gujarat to be held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections.
However, the Supreme Court later stayed bypoll on the Talala assembly constituency in Junagadh district.
By-elections will be held on the assembly segments of Dhrangadhra, Manavadar, Unjha and Jamnagar (Rural), which fall under Lok Sabha constituencies of Surendranagar, Porbandar, Mehsana and Jamnagar, respectively.
A total of 45 candidates are in the fray on these seats, won by the opposition Congress in the 2017 polls.
Three of the four sitting Congress lawmakers who had resigned to join the BJP have been fielded by the ruling party from their respective seats.
These candidates are Jawahar Chavda (Manavadar), Asha Patel (Unjha) and Parsotam Sabariya (Dhrangadhra).
The BJP has fielded another former Congress leader and ex-lawmaker Raghavji Patel from Jamnagar (Rural). He had joined the BJP outfit two years ago after voting against Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the Rajya Sabha election in August 2017.
The BJP had fielded Raghavji Patel from the same seat in the December 2017 assembly election, but he lost.
The Jamnagar (Rural) seat fell vacant after sitting Congress leader Vallabh Dharaviya, who had defeated Raghavji Patel in 2017, himself joined the ruling party.
Congress nominees on Dhrangadhra, Manavadar, Unjha and Jamnagar (Rural) are Dinesh Patel, Arvind Ladani, Kanti Patel, and Jayanti Sabhaya, respectively.
Manavadar candidate Chavda, an OBC leader from the Ahir community, had joined the BJP after resigning as lawmaker ahead of the Congress Working Committee meet in Gujarat March. He was soon inducted in the Vijay Rupani government as a Cabinet minister and given fisheries and tourism portfolios.
Sabariya, arrested in October last year for allegedly taking bribe from persons named accused in an irrigation scam in Morbi district, later joined the BJP, which has fielded him from Dhrangadhra, the seat he won for the Congress in 2017.
By-election to the Talala seat, which falls under the Junagadh Lok Sabha constituency, was necessitated after its sitting lawmaker Bhagvan Barad of the Congress was disqualified by the assembly speaker following his conviction in a mining theft case in early March.
Barad challenged the disqualification and the ECI's subsequent announcement of by-election on the seat in the Gujarat High Court, which rejected his petition.
He then approached the Supreme Court which stayed by-election on the Talala seat.
Counting of votes in the assembly by-elections will take place on May 23.
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