The BJP’s first list of candidates for the Gujarat Assembly polls is generating plenty of excitement. A look at some of the powerful candidates.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will contest from Ghatlodia. He took over after Vijay Rupani was removed from the CM’s post. He is said to be very close to Anandiben Patel. He comes from the Patidar community and the party is projecting him as its CM candidate.
Three-time MLA Ashwin Kotwal will contest the polls from Khedbrahma, a seat reserved for scheduled tribe candidates. A few months ago, the 58-year-old resigned from the Congress and joined the BJP along with many of his supporters. He is a popular tribal leader and has a very strong hold over the Khedbrahma constituency. While joining the BJP, he had said, “I was elected MLA three times from Congress, but PM Modi was always in my heart.”
Kishor Kanani, a Patidar face of the BJP, served as a minister in the Gujarat government. Even though sentiments were against the BJP following the 2017 Patidar agitation, Kanani won comfortably. The 50-year-old will face Alpesh Kathiriya of the Aam Aadmi Party, who is a prominent leader of the Patidar agitation and was very active in the campaign against the BJP. This will be a contest to keep an eye on.
State Education Minister Jitu Vaghani will contest to retain his Bhavnagar seat. He is a spokesperson for the state government and is said to be very close to PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. He is also a Patidar face of the party. Earlier, he had served as the BJP’s state president.
A former mayor of Ahmedabad, Amit Shah will contest for the Ellisbridge constituency, a BJP bastion. The three-time MLA from Ellis Bridge, Rakesh Shah, has not been given a ticket this time around. Amit Shah is the BJP president of Ahmedabad City.
Since 1980, no party except the BJP has been able to win the Ellisbridge constituency. However, Rakesh Shah was denied a ticket due to internal complaints about his way of functioning.
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