Gujarat polls: BJP releases third list of candidates

The BJP on Monday announced the names of 28 more candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.

Earlier, the party had announced the names of 70 and 36 candidates in two phases. Unlike the first two lists, the third list is a mix of experience and youth.

The party has also fielded as many as 15 Patels of the 28 candidates. The first list, too, had 15 Patels as candidates from the BJP.

Five candidates have been replaced in Surat, which was one of the biggest hubs of the Patel quota stir. The key person who has been replaced includes Nanu Vanani from Surat. A diamond merchant, Vanani has been an open critic of Hardik Patel and the PAAS.

Among the key exclusions in the third list include the name of senior BJP leader I K Jadeja, whose supporters had gathered at the state BJP headquarters and sought his candidature from Dhrangadhra, as he was denied a ticket from Wadhwan. The party, however, rejected their claims and has fielded Jayrambhai Sonagara.

The Kodinar SC seat will now be contested by Dr Rambhai Vadher, replacing the sitting legislator Jethabhai Solanki, who resigned from the party on Saturday.

Vasuben Trivedi, a key minister and sister of former chief minister Anandiben Patel, too, has not been fielded as a candidate yet.

The list also includes the name of sitting legislator and speaker of state Legislative Assembly, Raman Vora, who has been fielded from the scheduled caste (SC) reserved seat of Dasada, instead of his earlier constituency of Idar.

Sitting legislator and former Cabinet minister Saurabh Patel will contest from Botad. Saurabh is currently the sitting legislator from Akota constituency. He had fallen out of favour and was dropped as a minister when Vijay Rupani took over as the chief minister last year.

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