JD(U)'s 100 candidates for Gujarat stumps Congress

JD(U)'s 100 candidates for Gujarat stumps Congress

The JD (U)'s decision to field more than 100 candidates in the Gujarat Assembly elections has left the Opposition camp worried.

The Opposition is of the view that the  BJP's newest ally's decision to take the poll plunge may spoil the chances of Congress and its allies in the state.

The Congress and its allies are also closely watching the whirlwind campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that kick-started on Monday with a rally in Bhuj.  The party's leaders  are already apprehensive about Modi's ability to swing the elections in favour of the BJP almost single-handedly.

"The JD (U), at the most can boast of support in 8-10 constituencies. By contesting 100 seats, the JD (U) is punching way above its weight," a senior Congress leader said.

Chhotubhai Vasava, a JD (U) rebel who supported Congress leader Ahmed Patel in the crucial Rajya Sabha election in the state in August has been given a free hand to put up candidates on eight seats.

Vasava is contesting the elections under the banner of the Bhartiya Tribal Party, but some of his candidates will be in the fray on a Congress ticket.

The Congress is leaning on JD (U) rebel Sharad Yadav for campaigning in the areas where Vasava has fielded or backed candidates.  

Yadav said Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Gujarat Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki have been in touch with him on strategising for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.

There are at least a million migrant voters- mostly from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar -in the industrial belt of Surat and Ankleshwar, who are also the target of Yadav's campaign.

Asked about the JD (U)'s decision to field 100 candidates in the Gujarat elections, Yadav told DH that he suspected that the BJP  will have the  final word in the selection of candidates for Nitish Kumar's outfit.

"I hear they are fielding some Chhotubhai from Jhagadia Assembly seat from where Bhartiya Tribal Party's Chhotubhai Vasava is in the fray. This is only to confuse voters and cut our votes," Yadav said.

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