The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its third list of 12 candidates on Monday night for the next month’s Gujarat Assembly elections in which it has fielded OBC community leader Alpesh Thakor from Gandhinagar South seat instead of Radhanpur in North Gujarat from where he had lost a bypoll.
With the third list, the BJP has so far declared 178 candidates for the two-phase polls to the 182-member Assembly.
Alpesh Thakor had won from the Radhanpur Assembly seat in 2017 on a Congress ticket, but resigned in 2019 as an MLA and joined the BJP. In the the subsequent bypoll, he lost to the Congress from Radhanpur.
The BJP has now fielded him from Gandhinagar South.
The latest list includes two women, taking the number of female candidates fielded by the BJP to 17 so far. The saffron outfit has fielded Ritaben Patel from Gandhinagar North and Rajul Desai from Patan.
Earlier in the day, BJP workers protested at state party headquarters in Gandhinagar against the likely declaration of Rajul Desai’s name from Patan.
In Jhalod, where sitting Congress MLA Bhavesh Katara crossed over to the BJP last week, the ruling party has fielded Mahesh Bhuriya.
The party has fielded another Thakor community member, Bakaji Thakor, from Kalol in Gandhinagar district, a move seen as the saffron outfit wooing the influential OBC group.
The BJP has given ticket to its Vadodara mayor Keyur Roakadia, in place of sitting MLA Jitendra Sukhadia, from the Sayajigunj Assembly segment. Sukhadia has decided not to fight the 2022 elections due to health issues.
It has fielded Babu Singh Jhadav from Vatva in place of senior leader Pradeepsinh Jadeja, who was a minister in the erstwhile Vijay Rupani government, and Jayantibhai Rathwa from Jetpur (ST) where he will take on Leader of Opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Sukhram Rathwa of the Congress.
The ruling party had declared 160 names in the first list, six in the second and 12 in the third list.
Gujarat will vote on December 1 and December 5, and counting will take place on December 8.
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