New Delhi : Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja and Patidar leader Hardik Patel figure in the first list of candidates announced by the BJP for the fast approaching elections to the Gujarat assembly.
The saffron party is eyeing seventh consecutive win in the western state where it first tasted power in the mid-nineties.
The BJP central election committee (CEC) announced its candidates for 160 constituencies.Among others former Morbi MLA Kantilal Amrutya too has been named as a party candidate.
The saffron outfit list includes 14 women, and 13 and 24 members from the Schedules Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other CEC members, including Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh besides party’s national president J P Nadda, were in the meeting to finalise the candidates.
Former Congress leader Hardik Patel has been fielded as a BJP candidate from the Viramgam constituency while CM Bhupendra Patel will contest the elections from the Ghatlodia assembly constituency in Ahmedabad.
Viramgam is also part of Ahmedabad district and in two previous assembly polls 2012 and 2017 theC ongress party has been winning the seat.
The BJP fielded Kantilal Amrutya, a former MLA from Morbi, who reportedly jumped into the river to save people after the collapse of a bridge.
Cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja will contest from the Jamnagar Uttar constituency. Gujarat Home minister Harsh Sanghavi has been fielded from the Majura constituency.
Notably former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and ex-deputy CM Nitin Patel have opted out of
race to contest elections this time. They conveyed the same on Wednesday in their letters to Gujarat unit president C R Patil.
Two other senior BJP leaders, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Pradeepsinh Jadeja — who were ministers in the Vijay Rupani cabinet — also announced that they will not seek tickets for the polls this year.
Kantilal Amrutiya, 60, will be the BJP candidate from Morbi which witnessed the unprecedented nightmarish tragedy recently. The current MLA of Morbi, Brijesh Merja, has been replaced.
Mr Amrutiya was seen in videos wearing a life tube and trying to rescue people who fell into the river after the cables of the century-old bridge snapped on October 30 killing about 134 people, media reports said.
The counting of votes will take place December 8 while the voting will be held on Dec 1 and Dec 5.
Union ministers Bhupender Yadav and Mansukh Mandaviya along with Gujarat BJP president C R Patil announced at a press conference the names of the party candidates.
The party named its candidates for 84 of the 89 seats which will go to the polls in the first phase on December 1 and 76 of 93 candidates that go to the polls on December 5.
The saffron party first tasted victory in the nineties. Keshubhai Patel first became Chief Minister on March 14, 1995.
He was succeeded by Suresh Mehta and for brief spells there was President’s Rule and also BJP rebel Shankersinh Vaghelawas in power.
The saffron party returned to power in 1998 and since then the party has not lost power in the state.Narendra Modi was chief minister of his native state from Oct 7, 2001 till May 22, 2014.
After him Anandiben Patel and Vijay Rupani were in power. Bhupendra Patel took over as the chief minister
on Sept 13, 2021.