Hours after the Aam Aadmi Party alleged that its candidate from Surat (East) was kidnapped by the BJP, Kanchan Jariwala has come forward to announce that he had decided to withdraw his nomination voluntarily.
Several AAP leaders had taken to social media to accuse the BJP of kidnapping Jariwala. Manish Sisodia, as reported by ANI, had said, “BJP has kidnapped our candidate from Surat (East) from Gujarat, Kanchan Jariwala. He was last seen at the RO office yesterday. They tried to get his nomination rejected. Later, he was pressurised to withdraw his nomination. This raises questions on EC.”
AAP Rajya Sabha MP tweeted, “Where is the Election Commission of India? If hooliganism goes on openly then what is the point of elections? See how Gujarat Police and BJP goons are getting the nomination of our Surat East candidate Kanchan Jariwala back?”
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “On the strength of goons and police, candidates are being abducted and their nominations are being returned. This type of public hooliganism has never been seen in India. Then what is the point of elections? Then democracy is over.”
However, Jariwala later released a video statement rejecting AAP leaders’ claims as he said that the decision to withdraw his nomination was voluntary.
कांचन जरीवाला ने सूरत से आम आदमी पार्टी के उम्मीदवार का पर्चा वापस ले लिया है। उनका दावा है कि,
इलाक़े के वोटरों ने भारत और गुजरात विरोधी पार्टी को समर्थन देने से मना कर दिया था अंतरात्मा की आवाज़ सुनकर वो हट गए#ArvindKejriwal #KanchanJariwala pic.twitter.com/yfpYuAt6uQ
— ✴️Alok Pandey. ✴️🚩अयोध्यावासी🚩 (@Alokpandey663) November 16, 2022
“People used to ask me during my campaign why I became a candidate of an anti-national and anti-Gujarat party. I listened to my inner voice. I withdrew my nomination without any pressure. I can’t support such a party,” Jariwala was quoted by NDTV.
The AAP had demanded that the election for Surat (East) be cancelled as party leaders staged protests outside the office of the Election Commission.
Gujarat goes to polls in two stages on 1 and 5 December respectively with the counting scheduled for 8 December. The AAP has thrown all its resources in fighting this year’s assembly polls.