ANAND, GUJARAT — The ruling BJP has fielded Godhra riots accused, Mitesh Patel, as a Lok Sabha candidate from Anand, central Gujarat.
Mitesh Patel is treasurer of the BJP’s Anand district unit, declared in his poll affidavit that he was an accused in a case related to the 2002 post-Godhra riots, according to reports.
Patel, 54, was earlier chosen by the BJP to fight against former Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki from the Anand Lok Sabha constituency of central Gujarat.
In his affidavit submitted to the election authorities on Tuesday, Patel mentioned that an FIR was registered against him at Vasad police station in Anand district in 2002 for engaging in arson, rioting, stone-pelting, and theft, among other charges.
He was accused under IPC sections 147 (Punishment for rioting) 149 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 436 (Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 143 (unlawful assembly), 380 (theft).
Patel also mentioned that the Anand sessions court acquitted him in September 2010. The case is now pending before the Gujarat High Court as the state government filed an appeal in 2011 against his acquittal.
Patel, a native of Vasad, is fighting his first big election. He is also the convener of Gujarat Dal Utpadak Mandal and state representative of Pulse and Export Manufacturing Association of India. He is an ex-committee member of the Gujarat state BJP.
He also serves as the government-nominated syndicate member of Sardar Patel University, Vallabh Vidyanagar.
Patel has declared that he and his wife have movable assets worth Rs 3.48 crore and immovable assets of Rs 4.22 crore.