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Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 20, 2012
Infighting among the rank and file of the Congress in Gujarat is delaying the final selection of candidates for the first phase of the assembly elections in the state on December 13.

Even after a series of meetings between its top leaders, the party has not been able to prepare the final list for 87 seats which go to the polls in the first phase.

Voting will be held in Saurashtra, south Gujarat and four seats of Ahmedabad Rural on December 13.

Leader of the opposition Shaktisinh Gohil and Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhvadia rushed to New Delhi on Tuesday to meet AICC secretary in charge of the party's affairs in Gujarat Mohan Prakash and ticket screening committee chairman CP Joshi. More than 100 leaders from the Gujarat unit of the Congress have been camping in Delhi to lobby for tickets.

The infighting erupted after some senior leaders insisted that tickets be given to their respective supporters.

However, union minister and screening committee chairman CP Joshi denied there was any infighting among ticket aspirants.

Several Congress MPs from Gujarat have been accused of trying to damage the party's prospects by attempting to ensure that their dominance is not affected in any way.

"Our MP is working against the party interests in the district because he does not want any leader to emerge at the local level," a Congress MLA from Jamnagar said.

In Ahmedabad City, for example, three sitting MLAs are locked in a bitter fight to get tickets for two seats after delimitation merged three seats into two.