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BJP parliamentary board to finalize Gujarat candidates

IANS | Gandhinagar |

A three-day BJP meeting chaired by party chief Amit Shah to select candidates for the Gujarat Assembly elections began at Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s house on Friday.

The meeting will conclude on Sunday. The list of finalized names will be presented at the BJP parliamentary board meeting to be held on November 15 in Delhi.

Besides Rupani, the meeting that began in the evening is also being participated by Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, BJP state president Jitu Vaghani, the Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav and other senior party leaders. Shah will finalize a panel of list of candidates prepared at the state level.

Elections are less than a month away, and like all parties, the BJP too is planning full-fledged for it. The party, though unwilling to admit, faces an anti-incumbency in the state where it has been in power for more than two decades. Many agitations depicting issues of various communities have surfaced after the exit of then Chief Minister and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi, from the state politics.

Friday’s meeting agenda is likely to focus on the candidatures of 89 state assembly constituencies, which comprises of 14 districts.

According to sources, the party might consider fielding Patidar candidates for eight of the south Gujarat constituencies and 24 constituencies of Saurashtra region. As has been in the past, the duo of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have been known to go for the no-repeat theory, where many sitting MLAs’ names are likely to be chopped.

The finalization of candidates will be done by the national parliamentary board at a two-day meeting in Delhi scheduled on November 14 and 15. Considering the fact that the elections are going to be held in two phases, there is likelihood of three panels of the list being prepared at the state meeting.

The saffron party has to face many fronts other than the opposition Congress, like the Dalit community’s ire, the recently evolved Karadia Rajput agitation against state president Jitu Vaghani, the Thakore community, which has been going against the saffron party. On top of that is the Patidar agitation, led by young turk Hardik Patel, who has pledged non-cooperation and opposition to the saffron party.