Gujarat Assembly election 2017: In a big jolt to Rahul Gandhi ahead of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls, Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) workers have clashed with Congress supporters in Surat. It has been learnt that the clash took place over ticket distribution, according to reports. This comes after the Congress on Sunday had released its first list of 77 candidates for phase one of the Assembly poll with senior leaders from the state, Arjun Modhwadia and Shaktisinh Gohil, getting tickets for the crucial election. Meanwhile, Hardik Patel will be addressing a public gathering in Rajkot on Monday. Yesterday, the Gujarat Congress and the (PAAS) had said that they have reached an agreement over the issue of granting reservation to Patels, if the Congress is voted to power in the state Assembly election.
“Earlier, we had asked the Congress to clarify how they would grant Patidars a constitutionally valid reservation. Today, we held a crucial meeting on that issue and finally reached a consensus on various options offered by the party to us. Official announcement of this agreement will be made by Hardik tomorrow in Rajkot,” said Bambhania, a key aide of Hardik Patel. “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,” he had said.
According to reports, out of the total candidates nominated by Congress, 11 belong to the scheduled tribe (ST) category and seven are from the scheduled caste (SC) category. The Congress leadership had held discussions on all the Assembly segments in the state at the party’s central election committee meeting held two days ago. The party is in talks with the NCP and breakaway faction of the JD(U) led by Sharad Yadav. It is also in discussions to have a poll arrangement with Patidar and OBC leaders, Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor respectively, party sources said.
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— ANI (@ANI) November 20, 2017
Of the total 182 assembly segments in the state, 89 seats will go to poll in the first phase to be held on December 9. The process of nomination for the phase has already started with the issue of notification on November 14. The last date for filing nominations is November 21. The remaining 93 segments will go to poll on December 14. The result of the election will be announced on December 18 along with that of Himachal Pradesh. Polling in the hilly state was held on November 9.
The Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP after a hiatus over two decades in Gujarat. The saffron party has already declared its two lists of candidates for the first phase, fielding 106 candidates so far.