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Home > News > PTI

Rebellion in Cong, BJP ranks delays finalisation of candidates

November 21, 2007 13:33 IST

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Coverage: Gujarat Elections, 2007

Rebellion in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has not only put impediments before the party but also on the opposition Congress, which has not been able to come out with the complete list of its candidates for first phase polls on December 11.

Thursday being the last day for filing of the nominations, the impact of dissidence could be clearly seen on both the ruling BJP and Congress, according to sources.

After days of deliberation, the faction-ridden Congress came out with a list of 62 candidates late past midnight for the 87 seats going to polls in the first phase in south Gujarat, Kutch and Saurashtra regions of the state. The remaining names of 25 candidates are expected to be announced anytime by the Congress, party sources said.

The reason for the Congress not declaring a complete list of candidates for the first phase may be that it wants to accommodate the BJP rebels, who mainly hail from Saurashtra, the karmabhoomi of BJP stalwart Keshubhai Patel and the fulcrum of the dissidence movement in the ruling party.

BJP rebel legislators Dhirubhai Gajera, Bavku Unghad, Bechar Bhadani, Balu Tanti, Narendrasinh Jadeja and Gopal Bhuva, who were hopeful of a Congress ticket, however, do not figure in its first list released on Tuesday.

The Congress, which had 48 legislators in the 182-member assembly, has given tickets to 19 sitting MLAs, including opposition leader Arjun Modhvadia, in the first list of 62 candidates, besides five women and three new faces.

One of the new faces is Patramal Subhania, fielded from Dwarka constituency in place of sitting MLA Pabubha Manek, who had on October 16 quit the Congress and joined the BJP, sources said.

In the remaining list of 25 candidates, which is yet to be declared by the Congress, the party is expected to find replacements for Manish Gilitwala, an MLA from Surat East, and Shankar Varli, an MLA from Umbargaon, who switched over to the BJP.

Meanwhile, the BJP, which has announced 86 candidates for first phase and one for second phase i.e.: Chief Minister Narendra Modi from Maninagar that features in the second phase of elections on December 16, is expected to come out with the remaining names anytime.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, which is yet to win a seat in Gujarat, plans to contest all the 182 seats and has announced its first list of 82 candidates. The Janata Dal-United, a National Democratic Alliance partner which has two MLAs in the 11th Gujarat legislative assembly, plans to contest in at least 27 constituencies, sources added.

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