Congress party has released its second list of 9 candidates for the Gujarat assembly elections late Monday night. With this latest announcement, the grand old party has raised the curtain from as many as 86 seats as it released its first list of 77 candidates, a day before. In the latest released list, the Congress replaced PAAS member Amit Thummar on Junagadh with Bhikha Joshi, Nilesh Kumbai with Ashok Jirawala on Kamrej, Kiran Thakor with Jaish Patel on Bharuch and Praful Togadiya with Dhiru Gajera on Varachha Road. The Congress has also brought back former Jamnagar MP Vikram Madam to contest from Khambhalia seat.
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The nine other candidates are: Pradyumansinh Jadeja from Abdasa seat, Aadam B Chaki from Bhuj, Santok Arethiya from Rapar and Mithul Donga from Rajkot East. Dinesh Chovatiya from Rajkot South, Jiwan Kumbharvadia from Jamnagar North, Ashok Lal from Jamnagar South, Vikram Madam from Khambhalia and Meraman Goriya from Dwarka seat.
The party went with senior leaders from the state, Arjun Modhwadia and Shaktisinh Gohil, in the first list for the crucial election. However, after the list was released, Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) members expressed anger and started protesting in many parts of the state, claiming they were not given proper representation. Patidar leaders and workers also vandalised the Congress’ office in Surat, late on 19 November.
Earlier, in the day, Congress released a list of 40 star campaigners for the upcoming assembly polls too. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and OBC leader Alpesh Thakor, who recently joined the Congress are among the party’s star campaigners. Punjab minister and former India batsman Navjot Singh Sidhu, who quit the BJP to join the Congress ahead of the Punjab elections, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar and actress- turned politician Nagma Morarji will also add to the star value of the campaign line up.
On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already announced 134-candidates, which includes incumbent Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. Gujarat goes to polls in December, where the first phase for 89 seats will be held on the 9th and for the remaining 93 seats it will be held on the 14th. The results will be announced along with that of Himachal Pradesh on December 18.