PAAS, Cong struggle to cross one more hurdle to truce

PAAS, Cong struggle to cross one more hurdle to truce

The Congress may have convinced the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) of its sincerity on the quota issue. Late on Monday night, the party even bowed down to PAAS pressure to change four of its candidates for Gujarat Assembly polls. This has further delayed the official announcement of a truck between the parties.

The Congress, which released its second list of 13 candidates on Monday night, after having released 77 names on Sunday night, changed candidates for Junagadh, Bharuch, Kamrej and Varachha Road constituency to placate PAAS. The Patel quota stir leaders had created a ruckus on Sunday night and indulged in violence to get their demands met. It didn't end there; there was more trouble over the candidacy for Botad constituency.

The Congress nominated Manhar Patel, a rebel Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member who defected to the party, as its candidate for Botad to take on former industries minister Saurabh Patel. PAAS members, on the other hand, were adamant that the nomination goes to their convener Dilip Sabwa.  PAAS Botad members have threatened to oppose Manhar's nomination and instead support the third front if the Congress did not change its candidate.

The situation reached such a stalemate that Hardik, who was to announce support for Congress on Monday after reaching an agreement on quota issue on Sunday, had to again delay his announcement by another day. He is now slated to hold a press meet on Wednesday.

Sources suggested that a team of senior Congress leaders is holding talks with PAAS members to pacify them.

Navsari candidate

The BJP, that had earlier announced three lists of 134 names, on Tuesday named Piyush Desai as its Navsari candidate.

Meanwhile, a cursory look at the list of candidates fielded by both the main national parties fighting to form government shows that Patels have been able to convince them of their dominance. While the BJP has fielded about 35 Patels from 134 candidates, the Congress has given tickets to over 24 members of the Patel community.

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