In a major blow to the Congress, the Gujarat High Court on Friday rejected a plea by Patidar leader Hardik Patel seeking a stay on his conviction by a district court to enable him to contest the general elections.
The decision is a jolt to the Gujarat Congress as Patel was projected to be a candidate for the Jamnagar seat in the 2019 general elections.
Justice Abdullahmiya Uraizee rejected the petition filed by Patel seeking a stay on the Mehsana court conviction in a rioting and arson case in Visnagar during the Patel agitation in 2015.
The Mehsana court had ordered a two-year imprisonment in July last year.
Patel had prayed for a stay on the order so that he could contest the Lok Sabha polls.
Patel on March 12 joined the Congress in Gandhinagar in the presence of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Since he still stands convicted in the case, he cannot contest elections as per a Supreme Court order unless the High Court stays his conviction.
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