Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama is in deep trouble these days. Thursday may be the day when his future for the remaining term as a minister gets decided. His appeal against the Gujarat High Court order in the apex court may come up for hearing on this day. Apart from challenging the high court order, which held his election as MLA void, he has also asked for a stay against the HC order.
If the Supreme Court stays the order of the Gujarat High Court, then Bhupendrasinh may continue as a cabinet minister in the Gujarat government. Since Gujarat High Court refused to give him stay against its order, he did not attend the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday just to ensure that the high court order is not violated.
Earlier Gujarat High Court on Tuesday, in connection with an election petition, held that there was irregularity in the election of Dholka assembly constituency and the returning officer had wrongly disqualified more than 400 postal ballots. The victory margin of Bhupendrasinh Chudasama was just above 300 votes which was less than the disqualified votes.
After the election results were declared, Congress candidate from Dholka assembly Ashwin Rathod had filed a petition in the High Court demanding that the election of Chudasama be declared void and instead he be announced as the winner taking into consideration the remaining ballots. The court, however, did not grant his plea to be declared a winner.
But the court’s observations in the order were very serious. The judgment said, “It is held that, it is proved that, ‘corrupt practice’ as defined under Section 123(7) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 was committed during the election in question.”
Since these are very damaging remarks and the Central leadership of the BJP is also concerned about the fallout of this verdict across the country, Thursday would be virtually D-Day for Chudasama.