Ahmedabad: The BJP’s list of 15 candidates for Gujarat has left many observers surprised, because it did not contain any surprises.
The expectation was that the party would try out new faces or attempt political experiments in its fortress, but the BJP seems to have decided to play it safe. Party president Amit Shah’s nomination from Gandhinagar was announced earlier.
The BJP has repeated 14 MPs, the only one dropped was Mr Devaji Fatepura from Surendranagar. He was replaced by Dr Mahendra Munjapara, an educated face from the Koli community.
Mr Fatepara is threatening to quit. He was in the Congress before switching over to the BJP in 2014.
The list features three women — Ms Ranjan Bhatt, Dr Bharti Shiyal and Ms Poonam Madam — and four tribals.
Many leaders were expecting some changes in Amreli, Vadodara and Jamnagar. In the 2017 Assembly elections, the party lost five segments in the Amreli constituency due to resentment among the Patidar voters. It was expected that the party would field a Patidar candidate but it did not.
At Vadodara, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contested the last time, the names of Union finance minister Arun Jaitely or someone from national leadership were doing around but Ms Ranjan Bhatt was fielded.
Ms Poonam Madam is also repeated from Jamnagar, ending all speculations of that cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja could be given the party ticket.
The selection for the remaining seats is going to be tough. It is learnt that the party wants state ministers Jayesh Radadia and Dilip Thakor to contest but they are reluctant.
Anticipating the anger of party workers, actor Paresh Rawal, MP from Ahmedabad-East, has conveyed that he is not willing to contest this time. MP Parbhatsinh Chau-han, known as a ‘dabang leader’ from Panch-mahals, has challenged the leadership against any move to change him....