A part from Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja and Patidar leader Hardik Patel figure in the first list of candidates which were recently announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party 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. Apart from others, former Morbi MLA Kantilal Amrutya, too, has been named as a party candidate.
The saffron outfit list includes fourteen women, thirteen and twenty four members from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes respectively
The saffron outfit list includes fourteen women, thirteen and twenty four members from the Scheduled 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 the Congress party has been winning the seat.
Cricketer’s Better Half Also In The List
Gujarat Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi has been fielded from the Majura constituency. Interestingly, cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja will contest from the Jamnagar Uttar constituency. She joined the party in 2019. Former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and ex-Deputy CM Nitin Patel have opted out of the race to contest elections this time. They conveyed the same recently in their letters to Gujarat-unit president CR 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.
Lifesaver Face of the Party
The BJP has also fielded Kantilal Amrutya, a former MLA from Morbi, who jumped into the river to save people after the recent bridge collapse in Gujarat. Amrutiya has been fielded from the Morbi constituency. The 60-year-old turned out to be a saviour to innocent people after the British-era cable bridge collapsed on the Machchhu river in Morbi on October 30. The town witnessed an unprecedented tragedy. 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.
The counting of votes will take place on December 8 while the voting will be held on December 1 and December 5. Union Ministers Bhupender Yadav and Mansukh Mandaviya, along with Gujarat BJP president CR 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 Vaghela was in power. The saffron party returned to power in 1998 and since then the party has not lost power in the State. Shri Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of his native State from October 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 September 13, 2021.