Voting for the bypoll for a single seat in Ward 20 of the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) is set to be held on Sunday, which is among the 32 seats going to poll in various local bodies across the state. Of the total 24 candidates, 18 are independent. Apart from the BJP, Congress, and the AAP, Mayawati’s BSP, Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, and the NCP have also fielded their candidates.
The seat was vacated after the death of the BJP’s sitting councilor Jayesh Jariwala (Rana community) last year in May. The bypoll for the single seat of Ward 20 (covering Khatodara, Majura, and Sagrampura areas) was declared by the Election Commission in July.
As per the details available, over 1.14 lakh people are eligible to cast their vote. Among them, 35,000 voters are Muslims. A majority of candidates who are contesting the elections too are Muslims. While the BJP had fielded Rajesh Rana, Congress had fielded Shailesh Rayka and the AAP had fielded Mukesh Pasiyawala.
The voting will be conducted between 6 am and 7.00 pm on 110 polling booths and 33 polling stations, officials said. The counting will be carried out on Tuesday.
A total of 1,000 officials have been deployed by the Election Commission,
All three major parties – the BJP, AAP, and Congress – are confident of winning the seat. Surat City BJP president Niranjan Janjmera said, “We will retain our seat. People seem to be satisfied with the development work.”
Meanwhile, Surat Congress president Harshad Desai said, “The BJP had put all the pressure on us and they got our star leader Aslam Cyclewala, who had a good influence on the voters in Ward 20, detained under PASA (Prevention of Anti Social Activities Act) last month. We are thankful to Gujarat High Court and PASA board that they released Aslam Cyclewala on Friday. We are putting all our efforts into the victory of our candidate Shailesh Rayka.”
AAP state general secretary Rakesh Hirpara said, “We have fielded a candidate from Rana community. Our team has worked hard to develop a connection with voters.”