Sheela Bhatt in Gandhinagar
Even as the Gujarat Congress awaits the list of candidates to be decided by the high command early next week, some members are complaining about favouritism in the exercise.
"We wanted the high command in New Delhi to allot tickets to more grassroot-level workers, but we don't think that will happen," one of the members told rediff.com
Many state Congressmen have their kin vying for tickets. State Congress chief Shankersinh Vaghela has recommended his son Mahendrasinh's name for the Sami Harij constituency. The late chief minister Chimanbhai Patel's son Siddharth, who was a member of the dissolved assembly, wants the ticket from Dabhoi, while former chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki's son Bharat is seeking renomination from Borsad.
"Both Bharat and Siddharth are capable of winning," says Jagdish Thakore, who himself has applied for a ticket from Dahegam in central Gujarat. "They are not getting the tickets only because of their powerful fathers, but also because they are consistent winners."
"In the previous election," argues Bharat Solanki, "I didn't even print posters for publicity. The contact I had with people during the campaign was enough to get me elected."
Former chief minister and tribal leader Amarsinh Chaudhary also wants his son Tushar to launch his political career in the upcoming election. Dalit Congress leader Narsinh Makvana's son wants a ticket from Bavla in Saurashtra.
The Congress has a few koli leaders like Savashi Makvana, too. One of Makvana's relatives is trying to get nominated from Chotila in Saurashtra. In Bhavnagar, kshatriya leader Kiritsinh Gohil is lobbying for his son Mahavirsinh to contest from Ghogha. Mukesh Gadhvi, son of Congressman B K Gadhvi, is seeking the nomination from Banaskantha.
Lately, the Congress has been talking of the 'winning ability' of candidates as being the only criterion for allotting tickets, but Manubhai Kotadia, who lost many elections in his time, wants his family member to get the ticket from Saurashtra. In Ahmedabad, Manubhai Parmar is another father who is canvassing for his son Shailesh.
In Anand, some Congressmen are trying to convince Rambhaben Patel, widow of the slain leader Babubhai, to contest elections for sympathy votes. A local Bharatiya Janata Party leader is accused of killing Babubhai.
The disease isn't restricted to the Congress. Former chief minister and now dissident leader Keshubhai Patel's son is seeking the BJP's ticket from Visavadar in Saurashtra. And in a tough election like this one, who can dare deny a few tickets to the BJP's strongest Patel leader?
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report