The BJP on Friday announced its first list of 70 candidates for the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections, scheduled for 9 December.
Among those being shortlisted to contest polls on BJP ticket this time are six MLAs, who defected from Congress in August this year. The saffron party list (see below) shows that it has repeated most of the sitting MLAs in their constituencies.
The announcement follows a late night meeting in Gandhinagar by the BJP President Amit Shah, who had summoned all senior functionaries of the party on Thursday. Shah is believed to have held a separate discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi before releasing the list.
Chief Minister Vjay Rupani will contest from his traditional Rajkot West constituency, while Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel will try his luck from Mehsana, also his traditional constituency, and state BJP chief Jitubhai Vaghani will contest from Bhavnagar West.
Earlier, Jitu Vaghani had refused to contest the election.
Curiously, the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) members, Varun Patel and Reshma Patel, have not been included in the first list of candidates. Reshma, according to reports, is being used by the BJP to counter the growing popularity of Hardik Patel, who’s vowed to inflict defeat on the saffron party.
Two BJP MLAs, Vadhwan constituency’s Varshaben Doshi, and BJP MLA from Dhari constituency, Nalin Kotadia, have been dropped. Instead, Dhanjibhai Patel is to contest from Vadhwan and Dileep Sanghani will be contesting from Dhari, reported IANS.
Click here for List of BJP candidate for Gujarat Assembly Election 2017.