The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday evening released its third list of 12 candidates for next month’s Gujarat elections in which it has chosen OBC community leader Alpesh Thakor from the southern seat of Gandhinagar instead of Radhanpur in northern Gujarat, from which he asked an additional question.
With the third list, the BJP has so far declared 178 candidates for the two-stage polls to the 182-member Assembly.
Alpesh Thakor had won the Radhanpur Assembly seat in 2017 with a congressional ticket but resigned as MLA in 2019 and joined the BJP. In the ensuing bypoll, he lost to the Radhanpur Congress.
The BJP has now sent him from Gandhinagar South.
The latest list includes two women, bringing the number of female candidates fielded by the BJP to 17 so far. The saffron outfit has drafted Ritaben Patel from Gandhinagar North and Rajul Desai from Patan.
Earlier in the day, BJP workers protested at the state party headquarters in Gandhinagar against the probable disclosure of Rajul Desai’s name from Patan.
In Jhalod, where incumbent Congress MLA Bhavesh Katara switched to the BJP last week, the ruling party has drafted Mahesh Bhuriya.
The party has raised another member of the Thakor community, Bakaji Thakor, from Kalol in Gandhinagar district, a move seen as the saffron group courting the influential OBC group.
The BJP has given a ticket to Vadodara Mayor Keyur Roakadia, instead of incumbent MLA Jitendra Sukhadia, from the Sayajigunj Assembly segment. Sukhadia has decided not to run in the 2022 elections due to health concerns.
It has replaced Babu Singh Jhadav of Vatva with senior leader Pradeepsinh Jadeja, who was a minister in the erstwhile Vijay Rupani government, and Jayantibhai Rathwa of Jetpur (ST), where he became the leader of the opposition in the Gujarat Assembly Sukhram Rathwa of the Congress.
The ruling party had listed 160 names on the first list, six on the second list and 12 on the third list.
Gujarat will vote on December 1 and 5 and the count will take place on December 8.
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