Gujarat Assembly Election 2017: Ahead of the big elevation of Rahul Gandhi as the new President of Congress, ally NCP has dealt a big blow to the party’s prospect in the upcoming Gujarat Assembly Elections. NCP leader Praful Patel on Monday said that the party will contest the election on its own and exuded confidence of doing better alone in Gujarat. Expressing disappointment over Congress’ tactics, Patel claimed, “We wanted to contest in Gujarat in alliance with Congress and had talks with them too initially, but Congress did not seem serious and kept on delaying.” This a major blow to Congress as rifts between it and the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) has come to the fore. The supporters of both PAAS and Congress were seen fighting in Surat. “We are already prepared to contest from all seats for the last one-and-half years. Now, we have decided to fight alone,” Patel asserted.
Meanwhile, the notification for the second phase of the Gujarat Assembly elections will be issued on Monday. Polling for this phase will be held on December 14 in 93 constituencies. The Central Election Committee of the party selected the names in a meeting held in New Delhi. The names had been chosen for the first phase of polls to be held on December 9. The last day of filing nominations for the first phase is on November 21. Of the 182 seats, 89 in Saurashtra, Kutch and South Gujarat will go to polls in the first phase.
Yesterday, the Congress released the first list of its 77 candidates for the upcoming polls. Senior party leader Shaktisinh Gohil will contest from Mandvi constituency. Arjun Modhwadia has been given party ticket. The Congress and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leaders have held a meeting in Ahmedabad regarding the reservation issue for Patidar community in the state.
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The Congress leadership had so far 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, according to reports.
A crucial meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) is underway in New Delhi today to clear the decks for the elevation of Rahul Gandhi as party president. With the completion of the election process, the 47-year-old Rahul Gandhi is likely to take over the reins before the Gujarat Assembly elections, which start on December 9. The party’s organisational election has to be completed before December 31. The Election Commission has given the party the last extension for completing the internal poll process by the end of this year.
Notably, the BJP has already announced two lists of 106 candidates.