Vaghela?s son on Cong second list, no candidate for Maninagar yet
A Congress list of 164 candidates for the Gujarat elections released on Friday night does not include the party nominee for Maninagar, who would be pitted against Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Nor does it name the candidate for Ellisbridge, the seat that Modi is reportedly reluctant to cede to Haren Pandya. The move is seen as a way to keep the BJP on tenterhooks.
Friday's list includes the 108 names announced earlier this week. Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief Shankarsinh Vaghela once again does not feature in the expanded list, though he may still be the party's chief ministerial candidate if it wins. His son Mahendra Sinh has been fielded from Sami.
To strike a political balance between two powerful leaders, the party has accommodated CLP leader Amarsinh Chaudhary's son Tushar from Vyara, a reserved ST constituency. Chaudhary, as a sitting legislator himself, will contest from Khedbrahma (ST).
Besides Maninagar, where the party intends to keep the BJP guessing, the Congress has not announced nominees for 17 seats, including three important seats in the Gandhinagar area, Dariayapur, Shahpur and Ellisbridge. The Congress would wait and watch to see how the BJP resolves the tussle over Ellisbridge.
The Congress not just hopes to cash in on infighting in the BJP, it is also trying to iron out its problems in choosing candidates in some of these constituences.
Congress workers claiming to be supporters of Kalupur MLA Farookh Sheikh ransacked the GPCC office in Ahmedabad, reacting to reports that he had not been renominated. Sheikh himself distanced himself from the demonstration.