Gujarat polls: Patidars dominate BJP list

In all, the BJP had renominated 49 candidates and fielded 15 new candidates. There are also four women women in the party list.

New Delhi: The BJP on Friday released its first list of candidates for the coming assembly elections in Gujarat where 182 constituencies will go to polls next month. The 70 names, which were released included 45 candidates, whose constituency will go to polls in the first phase on December 9 and the remaining on December 14, the second phase of polling. Results will be declared on December 18.

Among the prominent names that were announced today included that of chief minister Vijay Rupani who has been renominated from Rajkot West, his deputy Nitin Patel from Mehsana, party president Jitubhai Vaghani from Bhavnagar West and former Superintendent of Police(SP) Chhota Udepur, P.C. Baranda, who had resigned just two days back. He has been fielded from Bhiloda assembly constituency. Of the total 89 constituencies that will go to polls in the first phase, the BJP leadership has so far released 31 names.

The BJP has also fielded five former Congress leaders, who had joined the saffron fold recently. These included — Raghavji Patel from Jamnahgar Rural, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, Jamnagar North, Ramsinh Parmar from Thasra, Mansinh Chauhan from Balasinor and CK Raulji from Godhra assembly seat.

In all, the BJP had renominated 49 candidates and fielded 15 new candidates. There are also four women women in the party list.

Of the total names, 17 are Patels, 18 OBCs, three SCs and 11 STs. A majority of OBC candidates are Thakores followed by Kolis.

The names were finalised by BJP’s Central Election Committee, which met on Wednesday and was chaired by party president Amit Shah. It was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, chief minister Vijay Rupani, his deputy Nitin Patel among other party leaders.

Ahead of Guj poll, Nitish wins battle for control of JD(U)
The JD(U) faction, led by Nitish Kumar, on Friday managed to keep the “arrow” symbol of the party with the Election Commission ruling that the group led by the Bihar chief minister has demonstrated overwhelming majority support in the legislature.

“The group led by Nitish Kumar is hereby recognised as the Janata Dal (United)... Consequently, the group led by Nitish Kumar is entitled to use the reserved symbol ‘Arrow’ of the party as a recognised state party in Bihar,” the EC said in its order.

The EC ruling comes as a setback for the party's faction led by senior leader Sharad Yadav who is fighting the coming Assembly polls in Gujarat in an alliance with the Congress.

Sources said that Mr Yadav-backed candidates, headed by tribal leader Chotubhai Vasava, will now be contesting the December 9 and 14 Assembly polls as independents or under the Congress symbol. The JD(U), which is a recognised state party in Bihar, had split when Mr Kumar had decided to walk out of the Grand Alliance in Bihar in which the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress were partners.

Mr Kumar has already decided to field around 12 candidates in the tribal belt of Gujarat where the JD(U) has traditionally been strong.

While senior lawyer and Congress leader Kapil Sibal argued for the Sharad Yadav camp, Rakesh Dwivedi appeared on behalf of the Nitish Kumar group in the hearing before the EC.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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