Gujarat BJP has repeated 47 MLAs in the list released for the second phase of the assembly polls. The party has fielded Sohrabuddin fake encounter accused and former junior home minister Amit Shah from Ghatlodia constituency in Ahmedabad.
Shah is currently out on bail in the case and faces arrest in the Tulsiram Prajapati case but the SC has given a stay on proceedings against Shah.
So far, the party has declared candidates for 177 out of the 182 seats while five candidates for Gandhinagar district seats will be declared on Thursday. In the list of 177 candidates, the saffron party has repeated 89 sitting MLAs. Only 27 MLAs have been dropped by the ruling party, which in the last polls had dropped as many as 47 sitting MLAs while adopting no repeat theory.
Meanwhile, the party has expectedly not fielded any Muslim candidate in the state. The BJP minority morcha had demanded at least 3-4 Muslims candidates from the party but again the party under Modi has refused to deviate from his Hindutva agenda. “It is disappointing that not a single Muslim figures in the list. The community deserves at least one seat from the ruling party,” a Muslim ticket aspirant from the BJP said.
Four ministers, Anandiben Patel, Saurabh Patel, Nitin Patel and pradipsinh Jadeja have been allowed to change their constituencies as Jadeja and Nitin Patel’s constituencies have been reserved for SC while Saurabh Patel and Anandiben Patel changed their seats out of fear for losing after demographic changes caused by the delimitation.
“The party has adopted a conservative approach in selection of candidates. Most of the sitting MLAs have been repeated while more than 15 persons who had lost in 2007 polls have also been fielded,” a BJP insider said, adding, “it seems the party did not want to annoy sitting MLAs by dropping them.”
Prominent among those dropped are former minister and Mehsana MLA Anil Patel, Naroda MLA, who has been jailed in Naroda Patiya massacre case Dr Maya Kodnani, former minister from Vadodara Bhupendra Lakhawala and senior MLA Shirish Shukla from Khambhat seat.
From minority community dominated seats in Ahmedabad, the party has repeated its sitting MLAs Bharat Barot from Dariapur and Bhushan Bhatt from Khadia Jamalpur segment. Both have seen considerable changes under delimitation, as both have over 55% minority voters as per redrawn areas of the seats.