Former BJP MP Kanji Bhai Patel Resigns, Alleges Partiality in Ticket Allocation

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on the campaign trail in Gujarat

In a jolt to the BJP, one of its former lawmakers Kanji Bhai Patel on Tuesday quit the party along with his son.

Tuesday was the last day for filing nominations for the first phase of elections which would cover 19 districts, mostly of Saurashtra and south Gujarat.

NCP on 20 November called off its alliance with the Congress.and announce that the party will contest the Gujarat assembly elections alone.

In its three lists naming 134 candidates out of a total of 182, the BJP has included 33 Patidar candidates.

The polling for the two-phase elections in the state will take place on 9 and 14 December and votes will be counted on 18 December. Following the release of the list, PAAS members came onto the roads protesting against the party for distribution of tickets.

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The final picture is the political seat of Jamjodhar constituency, which is very important as the present state agriculture minister Chimanbhai Saapraria is in the fray as a BJP candidate. State Assembly Speaker Ramanbhai Vora, who is seen as the Dalit face of the party, also figures in the third list, as does former state unit chief R C Faldu.

In a dramatic turn, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party is likely to cement its earlier broken alliance for the Gujarat assembly elections scheduled on December 9 and 14. In a meeting last Wednesday, the central election committee of the BJP had approved the names of candidates for the Gujarat election.

Similarly, Desha Punjabhai Bhimabhai is contesting on the Congress ticket from Una seat and he also filed his nomination.

With community leaders like Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mewani raking up caste issues in the polls, the BJP is focusing on booth management without getting into polarisation on lines of caste and religion.

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