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Gujarat elections: Congress may change Naresh Raval’s constituency

Shorab Negi | Ahmedabad |

After the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader, Hardik Patel and Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, Convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, openly approved of Congress, the party is expecting a better than expected electoral outcome. Congress is now busy re-evaluating the expected number of seats and is also making some well-planned changes in the choice of candidate for each of the constituencies.

Sources say that the senior Congress leader and the ex-leader of the opposition in the state Assembly, Naresh Raval, who played a key role during the Rajya Sabha elections has been reportedly offered to fight the elections from Vejalpur seat instead of his existing seat of Vijapur.

The Congress election committee is of the view that Vijapur with a high vote share of Patidar community would be much inclined to go with a strong Patel leader rather than Raval who is not from the community.

The party is inclined to offer Vijapur seat to Harshad Patel who has a larger influence over the Patidar community and has a better chance to win.

On the other hand, Naresh Raval is being convinced to fight from Vejalpur seat which has a sizeable number of Brahmin (40,000) and Muslim (9,000) votes will be willing to vote for Congress.

However, Raval has conveyed his disinterest in changing his constituency and informed the senior Congress leaders.