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Cong drops five incumbent MLAs, keeps seven others on the final list of 37 candidates

Congress has dropped five incumbent MLAs and kept seven others as it released the final list of 37 candidates for the second phase of next month’s bipartisan parliamentary elections in Gujarat on Wednesday. With the final list, Congress has completed the selection of candidates for all 179 seats it will contest. The party has left three seats – Umreth, Naroda and Devgadh Baria – for Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) as part of their pre-poll alliance.

Elections for all 182 constituencies will take place on December 1 (89 seats) and December 5 (93 seats). The votes will be counted on December 8.

The incumbent MLAs delisted by Congress are: Bharatji Thakor (Becharaji Constituency), Jashubhai Patel (Bayad), Rajesh Gohil (Dhandhuka), Niranjan Patel (Petlad) and Vajesingh Panada (Dahod).

The opposition party has retained MLAs in seven seats, namely Palanpur (Mahesh Patel), Deodar (Shiva Bhuriya), Viramgam (Lakha Bharwad), Thasra (Kanti Parmar), Kapadvanj (Kalabhai Dabhi), Balasinor (Ajitsinh Chauhan) and Padra (Jashpalsinh Padhiyar ).

Congress has given his former MLA Mahendrasinh Vaghela a ticket to Bayad constituency.

Vaghela, the son of former Prime Minister Shankersinh Vaghela, had won against Bayad in 2012 on a congressional ticket. He switched allegiance to the BJP ahead of the 2017 polls, but did not run in the previous elections. He left the BJP and recently rejoined Congress.

For the Kalol seat in Panchmahal district, currently represented by BJP, Congress has given a ticket to former Panchmahal BJP MP Prabhatsinh Chauhan.

Notably, Chauhan’s daughter-in-law is the current MLA, but the BJP has not nominated her.

Chauhan, 81, may be the oldest candidate in the upcoming election.

He sulked after being denied a ticket by the BJP for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and has recently entered Congress.

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