The opposition Congress may have already lost the Visavadar seat in Junagadh district after its nominee Harshad Rabadia failed to file his nomination papers on Saturday, the last day of filing nomination for the Phase 1 of assembly polling in state.
The constituency assumes significance for the fact that founding president of Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP), Keshubhai Patel is contesting against his former aide Kanu Bhalal of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to eyewitness, an unidentified man snatched the mandate for the candidate from the hands of district party president. “I was here personally to deliver the mandate to Harshad Rabadia. However, someone ran away with the mandate at the last moment,” district Congress head Lilabhai Khunti said.
Meanwhile, like many other places, there is also revolt here in Congress circles as Harshad Rabadia and Rati Mangroliya of Congress were seen fighting for the mandate from the party.
Another person Raju Danger, a close aide of Rabadia also filed his nomination paper as an independent candidate.
After all this drama, party has faxed the mandate for Rabadia to the Mamlatdar office here. However, it needs to be seen that whether his candidature will be accepted on a party ticket or he will have to contest as an independent.