After a big campaign led by Congress VP Rahul Gandhi, the party today released its first list 77 candidates for the Gujarat Assembly election. Much to the relief of the senior leaders in the state Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhwadia found their names on the list. This is a crucial poll for Congress as it has been defeated time and again over a period of 20 years by bitter rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by President Amit Shah. The poll is to be held in two phases on December 9 and 14. The results, however, will be announced on December 18.
A controversy of sorts erupted ahead of the release of Congress list. The party accused the BJP of leaking a Congress fake list even before the actual list was out! In his reaction, Manish Doshi, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson on a false list of Congress candidates circulating on social media had this to say, “BJP must answer people why did it resort to such gimmick & circulated the false list. It must apologise to the public.” He added, “Letter pad of Congress & signatures of our President have been misused to circulate false list on social media. Upon investigation by our IT cell, it was found the phone used for BJP’s website was used to circulate the list. BJP must answer people why did it resort to such gimmick & circulated the false list. It must apologise to the public.”
In the first released list, the Congress party has fielded 20 Patidars among 77 nominees, as per a report by News 18. Check out the complete list:
The announcement comes after the meeting between the Hardik Patel led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and Congress leaders. Earlier, in the day, it was announced that the Congress has accepted the PAAS demand for Patel quota in jobs and education. The two big announcements by the grand old party come two days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took out a massive bike rally of Patels, hoping the influential Patel vote will stick to its side. “I can say that we are in agreement with the Congress about their formula of granting reservation. We have not talked anything about giving tickets to PAAS. Hardik would announce tomorrow whether PAAS would support the Congress during the polls or not,” Congress party told reporters.
It must also be noted that Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki, who was present at the meeting, will not contest the next month’s polls. “I have declared it earlier and I am declaring it today as well that I will not fight Gujarat assembly elections,” Solanki said. Stating that he is “not unhappy with the party high command,” Solanki told reporters that he returned to Gujarat as he had some important work at hand regarding electioneering. “The party has done so much for me. I have won two Lok Sabha polls and have handled three ministries with independent charge. I was elected as an MLA thrice,” he said.
The deadline for filing nominations for the first phase of polls, slated for December 9, ends on November 21 and the ruling BJP has already declared names of 106 out of 182 seats by releasing two lists so far.