Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged on Wednesday that Kanchan Jariwala, one of its candidates in Gujarat had been “kidnapped” by some members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and forced to withdraw his nomination for next month’s election.

“BJP has kidnapped AAP candidate Kanchan Jariwala,” AAP leader Manish Sisodia said, after clarifying that he had been missing since yesterday. 

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Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi and the national convener of Aam Aadmi Party, also reiterated this report on Twitter. “Our candidate from Surat (East), Kanchan Jariwala, and his family missing since yesterday. First, BJP tried to get his nomination rejected. But his nomination was accepted. Later, he was being pressurized to withdraw his nomination. Has he been kidnapped?” he tweeted. 

AAP’s National Executive Member and a member of the Rajya Sabha, Raghav Chadha also expressed his outrage at this news. “Murder of democracy!”  he tweeted. “Our candidate Kanchan Jariwala from Surat East seat has been kidnapped by BJP. First BJP unsuccessfully tried to get his nomination papers rejected, then coerced him to withdraw his candidature and now kidnapped him. He is missing since last afternoon.”

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He also posted a video where he claimed that BJP goons could be seen dragging Jariwala away. “Watch how police and BJP goons together – dragged our Surat East candidate Kanchan Jariwala to the RO office, forcing him to withdraw his nomination. The term ‘free and fair election’ has become a joke!”

Shortly after, Jariwala had been found and had been brought to the Gujarat election returning office. At the time, he was surrounded by 500 policemen.

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“There is pressure on him to withdraw his nomination. He has been forced to sit in the poll office and is being pressured by policemen. I want to tell the Election commission that this is an open threat to democracy,” Sisodia added, alleging that BJP was “panicking” about losing the Gujarat election. As a result, the political party had resorted to kidnapping an AAP candidate.

Who is Kanchan Jariwala?

According to his Facebook page, Kanchan Jariwala lives in Surat, Gujarat, and studied at D.R.B. College, Surat. He works at Media inquire, which is a media company based out of Surat. 

Jariwala and his family had gone missing yesterday, from the time when he went to get his nomination papers scrutinized. “The moment he came out of the office after getting his nomination scrutinized, BJP’s goons took him aways,” said Sisodia, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister. “This is dangerous. This is the kidnapping of democracy, not just a candidate,” he alleged.