Cong picks ex-Guj opposition leader Paresh Dhanani against Union minister Rupala in Rajkot | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Cong picks ex-Guj opposition leader Paresh Dhanani against Union minister Rupala in Rajkot

Apr 13, 2024 10:44 PM IST

Cong picks ex-Guj opposition leader Paresh Dhanani against Union minister Rupala in Rajkot

Ahmedabad, The Congress has fielded former opposition leader Paresh Dhanani, a Patidar, against Union minister Parshottam Rupala, who is facing the ire of Kshatriya community, from Rajkot Lok Sabha seat as the party released the names of the four remaining candidates in Gujarat.

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The candidates comprised a former INTUC president, a senior spokesperson and two former legislators, including Dhanani.

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In its latest list released on Saturday night, Congress has also declared the names of candidates for bypolls to five assembly constituencies of Vijapur, Porbandar, Manavadar, Khambhat and Vaghodia.

With this, the Congress has declared the names of candidates for 24 constituencies it will contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Gujarat. Two other constituencies, namely Bharuch and Bhavnagar, are allotted to the Aam Aadmi Party under a seat-sharing agreement as part of the INDI alliance.

Apart from Dhanani, three other candidates declared on Saturday night by Congress include former legislator Himmatsinh Patel, senior spokesperson Nishad Desai, and Ramji Thakor who will contest from Ahmedabad East, Navsari, and Mehsana seats, respectively.

Elections to 26 Lok Sabha constituencies and bypolls to five assembly segments will be held in the third phase on May 7.

According to sources, Dhanani was initially reluctant to take on Rupala but later agreed to contest after being convinced by senior leaders of Congress.

Rupala, who belongs to the Patidar community, is facing protests from the Kshatriya community in Gujarat for his remarks against erstwhile rulers.

Notably, Dhanani had defeated Rupala from the Amreli constituency in the 2002 assembly elections.

Dhanani,48, had represented Amreli seat on two occasions. He lost against BJP candidate Kaushik Vekariya in the 2022 assembly elections. He was the leader of the opposition in the Gujarat assembly in 2018 and is holding the post of the working president of Gujarat Congress.

Himmatsinh Patel, 62, replaced Congress candidate from Ahmedabad Rohan Gupta, who opted out of the fray and later joined the BJP.

Patel had represented the Bapunagar constituency in the state Assembly.

Nishad Desai, 68, is a trade union leader who served as INTUC president for several years. He is known for taking the issues of labourers.

Ramji Thakor is a youth leader from the numerically significant Thakor community. He had served as the Mehsana district Congress president in the past.

Congress has declared the candidature of Dinesh Patel, Raju Odedara, Hirabhai Kansagara, Mahendrasinh Parmar, and Kanubhai Gohil for bypolls to assembly segments of Vijapur, Porbandar, Manavadar, Khambhat and Vaghodia, respectively.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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