Gujarat poll candidates list almost done, BJP keeps it guarded

The party appeared cautious and unwilling to take chances even as it got set to field a large number of youth leaders possibly at the cost of sitting legislators.

Published: 16th November 2017 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2017 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah at a committee meet in New Delhi. (Photo: PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Not keen to show its cards first, the BJP on Wednesday withheld announcement of its candidates for the high-stake Gujarat polls after a marathon central election committee (CEC) meeting. The party appeared cautious and unwilling to take chances even as it got set to field a large number of youth leaders possibly at the cost of sitting legislators.

A CEC member told Express that barring seven seats, candidates for all constituencies had been finalised. But the party had decided to wait for a while before making the names public.

“The BJP is ready with its candidates. The party is keeping its options open for seven seats to accommodate a few nominees who may join the party in the coming days. The candidates will neutralise the attempt of the Congress to consolidate OBCs, Dalits and Muslims,”the member said.

BJP chief Amit Shah presided over the meeting, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, JP Nadda, Thavar Chand Gehlot and Ananth Kumar. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and his deputy, Nitin Patel, also took part. “The CEC deliberated on each constituency for the Gujarat polls. The list of candidates will be released at an appropriate time,”Nadda said.

Sources said Shah shared the list with CEC members, which largely had just one name against an Assembly seat. He is believed to have assured the members that the party was comfortably placed to win the elections with a record margin.

Jignesh Mevani yet to openly support Congress

Still shying away from openly endorsing the Congress, Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani— one of three Young Turks trying to shake up Gujarat politics — was in Delhi to canvas for his community’s cause. But equally to defend his Patidar counterpart, Hardik Patel’s bedroom rights.

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