The opposition Congress on Friday announced its first list of 43 candidates for the Gujarat Assembly elections, fielding Rajya Sabha MP Amee Yagnik from the Ghatlodia constituency which is currently held by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel.
Senior leader and former party MLA Arjun Modhwadia has been nominated from the Porbandar seat, which he had lost to the BJP’s Babu Bokhiriya in 2012 and 2017.
Ms Yagnik has been chosen to fight from Ahmedabad’s Ghatlodia seat, currently held by Chief Minister Patel.
Of the 43 seats for which the opposition party has declared its candidates, only one seat, Jhalod (ST) of Dahod district, is currently held by it.
Instead of the sitting MLA Bhavesh Katara, the party has chosen Mitesh Garasiya from Jhalod. Mr Garasiya was the Congress MLA in the previous term 2012-17.
The first list of candidates features seven women, including Ms Yagnik. Some former MLAs also managed to get tickets this time.
Vadodara Congress leader Narendra Ravat’s wife and leader of opposition in the BJP-ruled Vadodara Municipal Corporation Amee Ravat has been chosen for the Sayajigunj seat of the city.
Former Congress MLA of Jasdan seat Bholabhai Gohel has been given the party ticket again. Mr Gohel had joined the BJP after he was denied ticket in 2017 but he returned to the Congress in 2018.
Senior party leader and former BJP MLA from Mahuva seat of Bhavnagar, Kanubhai Kalsariya, has been chosen by the Congress for the same seat. He contested the 2017 poll as an Independent but lost to the BJP’s Raghav Makwana by nearly 5,000 votes.
Former MLA Dhirubhai Bhil has been given ticket for Sankheda (ST) seat, which he had lost to the BJP in 2017.
The first list has 10 Patel or Patidar faces, 11 tribals, 10 OBCs and five SCs.
While the ruling BJP has not declared its candidates yet, the new entrant AAP has declared its candidates for 118 seats.
The list was declared after candidates’ names were finalized during a meeting of the party’s central election committee (CEC) chaired by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge here.
Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi joined the meeting online, while the rest of the participants attended it physically at the AICC headquarters here.
The Congress is seeking to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from government in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where the saffron party has been in power for more than two decades.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases next month – on December 1 and 5 – while votes will be counted on December 8.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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