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PAAS, Congress Workers Trade Blows Over Ticket Distribution; NCP Too Talks Divorce

PAAS workers were angry at the Patidat outfit being given just three tickets against the 10 seats it hoped for.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:November 20, 2017, 10:10 AM IST
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Ahmedabad: With its much-awaited first list of candidates for Gujarat elections, the Congress seems to have managed to anger both the NCP and the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).

The party list of 77 candidates had 22 Patidar community leaders, including three from PAAS, and none from the NCP.

NCP leader Praful Patel hinted on Monday that the party may fight Gujarat polls alone after the Congress fielded a candidate from Kutiyana, which is considered an NCP bastion. “We will be more successful by going alone,” Patel said.

Hardik Patel’s PAAS, too, was unhappy with just three seats instead of the 10 it had asked for. Sources said there were division within the Patidar outfit on whether to extend support to the Congress.

Late on Sunday, Congress workers exchanged blows with PAAS members who were protesting outside the party’s Surat office.

Following the clashes, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Dr Manish Doshi said the party will hold talks and “clear misunderstandings” that the Patidar leaders may have. "We will talk to them and clear whatever misunderstandings they may have. We are yet to announce several other seats in Saurashtra North Gujarat and other places," he said.

The three PAAS leaders given tickets included Saurashtra convener Lalit Vasoya who has been given a ticket from Dhoraji, Amit Thummar who will contest from Junagadh and Ravi Ambaliya who has been fielded from Jetpur.

The BJP, on the other hand, has included 19 Patidar leaders among the 106 candidates it has announced so far.

All eyes are now on PAAS leader Hardik Patel who is likely to spell out his outfit’s stand on Monday.

Of the total 182 assembly segments in Gujarat, 89 seats will go to the polls 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.

The Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP after a hiatus over two decades in Gujarat.

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