Individuals with criminal records in Gujarat poll fray

November 29th, 2007 - 3:59 pm ICT by admin  

Rajkot, Nov.29 (ANI): With the Assembly elections in Gujarat less than a fortnight away, political parties in the state are actively promoting the credentials of their candidates, turning a blind eye to the fact that some of them have a criminal background.
Be it the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party or the opposition Congress Party, it seems just everybody and anybody is welcome to contest provided he or she can ensure a win in the elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has allowed two of its state legislators to contest again, knowing fully well that they spent a long time behind bars in the recent past.
Kantilal Amritiya, a sitting MLA from the Morbi constituency, has managed to get a ticket again despite having been sentenced to life imprisonment in connection with a murder case. Amritiya is an accused in the murder of Prakash Raveshiya, a councillor, and was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Gondal Court in 2005. He, however, has been given a clean chit by the Gujarat High Court.
Amritiya was lodged in the Sabarmati Jail, but today is busy campaigning in Morbi.
“I was innocent right from the beginning and was wrongly framed in that murder case. After spending a good time in the jail, I came to Morbi and have realised that people still have a lot of faith in me. So, I am contesting the elections from here,” Kantilal said.
“I am sure I will win. If I would win, I will make Morbi world famous through business opportunities and will make sure that the water problem never exists,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Congress has given its ticket to Jayantibhai Patel and has contended that the tag of criminal on BJP candidate Amritiya may favour it.
“How can a voter trust on someone who is in jail for murder charges? Last time, when he contested the election, he was there with that murder charge. Then, he was went to jail doing nothing for Morbi. This time too, it is not known whether he will be here or in jail again, as the case might be referred to the Supreme Court,” said Jayantibhai Patel, the Congress candidate for the Morbi constituency.
Jairajsinh Jadeja, another sitting BJP MLA from Gondal in Rajkot District, is also a candidate worth attention.
Jadeja was serving a jail term in connection with two murder cases until he managed to seek bail from the Supreme Court after the election dates were announced.
The Congress party too has patronised candidates with criminal background like Vithal Radadiya.
Wielding both muscle and money power, Radadiya has filed his nomination for the upcoming elections.
Radadiya rubbishes all allegations against him.
“I have neither killed anyone nor cut anyone’s throat. I am charged in only those cases filed by officers whom I have hit and slapped on the face as they were not performing the public duties they were assigned, and they deserved it. In those cases, I have got verdicts in my favour. So, there are no charges on me,” claimed Radadiya.
In total, 742 candidates684(males) and 58 (females)–will be seeking election to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly.
National parties will be represented by 286 candidates258 (males) and 28 (females) in the two-phased elections scheduled for December 11 and 16. (ANI)

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