BJP releases third list of candidates

Gujarat polls a fight between Congress's caste politics and PM's agenda of development Amit Shah

Pic courtesy @AmitShah

The Congress released the first list of 77 candidates for the Gujarat Assembly elections.

Following the midnight drama, PAAS leader Hardik Patel, the charismatic 24-year-old activist spearheading the quota movement, cancelled the Rajkot rally where he was supposed to announce a formal alliance with the Congress.

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that PAAS leaders, who were working as agents of Congress, have been exposed following their clash over ticket distribution. The PAAS team is happy and will support Congress.

Thirty-two Patidars have been given ticket so far. The party had declared that the two sides - Congress and PAAS - had come to a consensus on the reservation formula and that Patel was set to make a formal announcement of the community backing Congress in Rajkot on Monday. Their offices were attacked on Sunday night after the Congress list was released.

Bhikhabhai Joshi replaced Thummar in Junagadh, while Jayesh Patel will fight from Bharuch in place of Kiran Thakor.

NCP leader Praful Patel on Monday suggested that the party may contest for the Gujarat polls alone after Congress fielded a candidate from Kutiyana, which is considered an NCP bastion. "We had recommended his (Thummar's) name to the party, and the leadership has accepted it. As of now, Thummar continues to be Congress's candidate", Virda told The Indian Express. Solanki was quick to point out that the list carrying his signature was fake as Congress releases its candidates from Delhi after being cleared by the party's Central Election Committee.

The deadline for filing the nomination for the first phase covering 89 seats ends tomorrow. Bambaniya alleged that the Congress had not taken them into confidence before announcing it.

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