Gujarat Assembly Election: 20 Patidars in Congress' First List of 77 Candidates
Earlier in the day, the Congress said that it had reached a consensus with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on the issue of reservation to the Patel community.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Ganhdi on his Navsrajan Yatra in Gujarat. (CNN-News18 photo)
New Delhi: The Congress party on Sunday night released its first list of candidates, fielding 20 Patidars among 77 nominees, for the Gujarat Assembly elections 2017.
It comes after the Congress said that it had reached a consensus with the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) on the issue of reservation for the Patel community. The agreement will come into force if the Congress is voted to power.
Shaktisinh Gohil, the sitting MLA from Abdasa, will contest these polls from the Mandvi constituency in Kutch. He is also said to be the frontrunner for the post of chief minister, should Congress garner a majority.
PAAS leader Lalit Vasoya will fight elections in the Dhoraji seat. The big battle, however, is between Indranil Rajyaguru and the sitting chief minister Vijay Rupani in Rajkot West.
Arjun Modhvadia, former leader of Opposition from 2004 to 2007, will lock horns with the sitting MLA and minister in the Gujarat cabinet, Babu Bokhiria in the Porbandar seat.
Out of the total candidates nominated, 11 belong to the scheduled tribe (ST) category and seven are from the scheduled caste (SC) category.
The Congress list comes with barely two days left to file nominations for the first phase of the election.
The delay was caused as the party was trying to strike the delicate caste balance while doing the quota tight rope and grappling internal factionalism.
While Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), had demanded around 20 seats from the Congress quota, Alpesh Thakor-led OBC group had demanded 12 seats.
On the contrary, the ruling BJP has announced 106 candidates out of total 182 seats, by releasing two lists so far.
While polling for 89 constituencies will be held on December 9, remaining 93 seats will go to polls on December 14. The last date for filing nominations for the first phase is November 21.
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