Gujarat elections: Amit Shah gets BJP ticket

Former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah, accused in the Soharabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati staged shootout cases, will contest in the upcoming state assembly elections.

Shah will contest from Naranpura in Ahmedabad.
His name features in the second list of candidates released by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the capital Wednesday.

Shah won last time from Sarkhej assembly constituency with a margin of over 2.50 lakh votes.

After delimitation, Sarkhej is now divided into three constituencies -- Vejalpur, Ghatlodia and Naranpura.

Shah is a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

In September, Shah had returned to Gujarat after a gap of two years, following the Supreme Court judgment allowing him to re-enter the state. The apex court rejected the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea to cancel the bail granted to Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh staged shootout case.

Since his return to Ahmedabad, Shah had been keeping a low profile. He has stayed away from public functions, and does not interact with the media.

The CBI has, in its charge sheet, named Shah the prime accused in the Tulsi Prajapati staged shootout case.

Acting on a petition filed by Shah, the Supreme Court had stayed all proceedings in the Prajapati case.

Besides Shah, other high-profile names in the second list of BJP  candidates for the Gujarat assembly polls are: Social Justice and Empowerment minister Fakirbhai Vaghela, from Vadgam (Banaskantha); Health & Family Welfare Minister Jaynarayan Vyas, from Sidhpur (Patan); Education Minister Ramanlal Vora, from Idar (Sabarkantha); and Anandiben Patel from Ghatlodiya (Ahmedabad).

The list has named candidates for 89 of 95 seats that will see polling in the second phase Dec 17.

Six candidates would be named later.

Among the BJP leaders attending the meeting which preceded the release of the list were BJP Parliamentary Party chairman L.K. Advani, Leader of Opposition (Lok Sabha) Sushma Swaraj, and Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha) Arun Jaitley, besides members of the Central Election Committee of the party.

The meeting was presided over by party president Nitin Gadkari.

The two-phase Gujarat assembly elections will be held Dec 13 and 17.

Counting of votes will take place Dec 20.

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