The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday released its seventh list of 13 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, taking the number of nominees whose names the party has declared so far to 86.
The list was released by the party’s state unit president Gopal Italia.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Legislative Assembly are due by the end of this year. However, the poll schedule is yet to be announced.
Ten out of these 13 seats are currently held by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while the opposition Congress holds three others. Two seats – Kadi and Kalavad – are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates, while three – Sankheda, Mandvi and Mahuva are reserved for Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidates, he said.
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The candidates include a retired government officer, doctor, lawyer and industrialist, Italia told reporters.
The seats on which the names of candidates were announced on Friday are Kadi (SC), Gandhinagar (North), Wadhwan, Morbi, Jasdan, Jetpur, Kalavad (SC), Jamnagar (Rural), Mehmedabad, Lunawada, Sankheda (ST), Mandvi (ST) and Mahuva (ST). The candidates for these seats, respectively, are H K Dabhi, Mukesh Patel, Hitesh Bajrang, Pankaj Ransariya, Tejas Gajipara, Rohit Bhuva, Dr Jignesh Solanki, Prakash Donga, Pramodbhai Chauhan, Natwarsinh Solanki, Ranjan Tadvi, Sanyaben Gamit and Kunjan Patel Dhodiya.
Morbi, Jasdan, and Jamnagar (Rural) are those seats on which the then Congress MLAs (who had won the 2017 Assembly polls) had resigned and BJP candidates won in the bye-elections that followed.
Neither the BJP nor the Congress have released the list of candidates for the upcoming polls so far.
Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has so far released a list of five candidates – from Danilimda (SC), Jamalpur Khadia, Surat-East, Bapunagar and Limbayat seats.
The AAP has positioned itself as the main contender to the ruling BJP.
Its national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been aggressively campaigning in the state, holding rallies and town halls and making a host of pre-poll promises of free electricity and better education and healthcare facilities among others.