Raj: Rebel BJP leader withdraws nomination for Assembly seat

Jaipur: Rebel BJP leader Ladulal Pitliya on Friday withdrew his nomination for the Sahara Assembly seat of Rajasthan's Bhilwara, according to state party leaders.

This is being seen as a big relief for the BJP as Pitliya's rebellion after he was denied the party ticket in the 2018 Assembly elections had cost it the seat. He had jumped into the fray as an independent, receiving 30,573 votes and finished third. Congress candidate Kailash Chandra Trivedi had won the seat, defeating BJP's Rooplal Jat by a margin of around 7,000 votes.

Nearly a month ago, Pitliya had rejoined the BJP. When the party announced Ratanlal Jat as its candidate for the April 17 bypolls, Pitliya again filed nomination papers as an independent.

A BJP spokesperson here said Pitliya withdrew his nomination and decided to serve the party, expressing faith in public welfare policies of the Union government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

State BJP president Satish Poonia said, ''The party had given serious consideration to the candidature of Ladulal Pitliya but unanimously decided the name of Dr Ratanlal Jat. The party has said that it will respect Pitliya and give deserving responsibility to him. He has withdrawn his nomination unconditionally. The party welcomes his decision."

He described the withdrawal of nomination by Pitliya as a result of an efficient election management of party leaders. The BJP will win all three seats of Sahara, Rajsamand and Sujangarh with the hard work of its workers and the blessings of the people, Poonia added.

The bypolls to the Sahara seat have been necessitated due to the demise of sitting Congress MLA Kailash Trivedi. The Congress has fielded Trivedi's wife Gayatri Devi.

According to poll officials, 2,47,400 people, including 1,24,100 men and 1,23,300 women, are eligible to vote in the Sahara elections. Twenty-one candidates had filed their papers for the bypolls. The last date for the withdrawal of nominations is April 3. While the voting will be held on April 17, the counting will take place on May 2.

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