Thu, 01 Dec 2022 03:06 PM (IST)
AS THE counting in the Morbi constituency is underway, Kantilal Amrutiya, a five-time former BJP MLA has unexpectedly gained attention after videos of him diving into the Machchhu River to save Morbi bridge collapse victims went viral, is leading victory from the Morbi constituency. Over 130 lives were claimed in the bridge collapse in Gujarat’s Morbi district.
Over incumbent MLA Brijesh Merja, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chose Morbi "Hero" Kantilal Amrutiya as its candidate. Merja, the current Morbi MLA and a cabinet minister in Gujarat, has been removed from BJP’s first list of 160 candidates for the upcoming polls.
Amrutiya is competing with Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates in the Morbi constituency, Congress has given a ticket to Jayantilal Jerajbhai Patel while AAP has fielded Pankaj Ransariya as its candidate.
The voting for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections 2022 took place on December 1 while the second phase was held on December 5.
In the first phase, a total of 788 candidates are in the fray including 718 male candidates and 70 women candidates. A total of 39 political parties are contesting the elections in the first phase. The fate of the political parties will be decided by over 2 crore voters today.
Who Is Kantilal Amrutiya: All You Need To Know
Kantilal Amrutiya who is also known as "Kanabhai" among the people, is a former member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly who represented the Morbi constituency in Gujarat five times. Amrutiya, a BJP candidate, had won the Morbi Assembly seat in 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, and 2012. But he lost in 2017, against Congress candidate Brijesh Merja, who later joined the BJP.
Five Gujarat ministers including the current sitting MLA from Morbi are among 38 sitting BJP members of the Assembly who have been denied tickets by the party. BJP’s Brijesh Merja, the legislator from Morbi where a bridge collapse incident last month claimed 135 lives, is among those dropped from the list of 160 candidates whose names were announced by the party.
Amrutiya, who was nearly forgotten in political circles, has suddenly been in the spotlight after videos of him diving into the water to save people in the Morbi bridge collapse went viral. Along with his popularity among the masses, it was this brave act which appears to have helped him get the BJP ticket for the seat.