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Gujarat elections: Sonia Gandhi to chair Congress meet on second list today

Though the Congress could release its first list of candidates today, there is also a possibility that the party might wait for the BJP to come out with its names.

GujaratElection2017 Updated: Nov 17, 2017 09:29 IST
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Aurangzeb Naqshbandi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gujarat elections,Rahul Gandhi,Congress ticket distribution
The meeting, to be chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, will also decide how many seats Congress will allocate to PAAS, Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani and Sharad Yadav’s Janata Dal (United). (AP File Photo)

The Congress appears to be caught in a bind over the distribution of seats to Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and other smaller parties for Gujarat elections.

The opposition party had on November 10 finalised the names of 70 candidates for both the phases of polling but kept the list on hold till Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s return from Goa.

On Friday, Gandhi will chair the second meeting of the central election committee (CEC), a party panel that clears the names of contestants, on Gujarat polls.

Though the Congress could release its first list of candidates on Friday, there is also a possibility that the party might wait for the BJP to come out with its names.

The meeting will also decide how many seats Congress will allocate to PAAS, Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani and Sharad Yadav’s Janata Dal (United).

JD(U) leader Chhotubhai Vasava, whose crucial vote ensured senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s victory in the Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat in August this year, is demanding 25 seats.

Though Other Backward Classes (OBC) leader Alpesh Thakor has formally joined the Congress, he,too, is seeking tickets for his close associates.

Once Hardik Patel forwards his list of candidates by Friday, the Congress will field them as its nominees and allot them the party symbol. November 21 is the last date for filing nominations for the first phase of polling.

Congress sources also claimed that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had sent feelers for a renewal of alliance in Gujarat but the leadership was yet to take a call on it.

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 07:37 IST