Guj Congress leaders offer to finalize city candidates well in advance

The Congress leaders in Gujarat are for early selection of candidates for the upcoming state Assembly polls. The party has asked the office bearers of the eight city committees to come up with a unanimous panel and the party will approve and provide funds to start campaigning.

On May 27, GPCC president Jagdish Thakor met office bearers of eight major cities — Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Junagadh, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar and Gandhinagar, where he assured them that if the committees come up with constituency wise aspiring candidates panel, the state parliamentary board will finalize them and will also start funding their campaign.

The city committees have already started working on it. Surat City president Naishad Desai told IANS on Saturday evening that some 1500 leaders met him and discussed about finalising panels. He said, constituency wise meeting will take place from this week, office bearers will meet aspiring candidates and finalise their names. “Before the end of June, names will be submitted to the state leaders,” Desai said.

Out of the 12 constituencies in Surat, there are at least four to five aspiring candidates on at least three constituencies. On the remaining nine seats, an average two to three candidates are trying their luck. City leaders in guidance of seniors and observers will try for consensus among aspiring candidates, said Surat city president.

“Bhavnagar city Congress committee has prepared a penal for two seats — Bhavnagar East and West. On Bhavnagar East, three candidates are in the race for ticket and for the Bhavnagar West, there are as many as six aspiring candidates,” said Prakash Vaghani, the city president. He, along with other leaders, is trying to minimise internal conflict and soon panel will be ready for each constituency.

An exercise is underway to form booth level committees and Vaghani plans to get the list of polling agents ready for all booths of the constituency at the earliest. He also wants candidates’ names approved at the earliest, so that they get enough time to get battle ready.

“Congress lost Jamnagar North seat with a margin of 40,963 votes in 2017 and South seat by 16,349 votes. To win these seats, advance preparations as early as at least three to four months will give it an upper hand,” said Virendrasinh Jadeja, president of the Jamnagar city Congress committee.

On each seat, there are at least three to four aspirants, but soon consensus will be reached for a minimum number of aspirants. Once the panel is approved, Jadeja plans that local committee and candidates will aggressively launch campaigns.

However, all major city office bearers are not of the opinion that final candidates are declared so much in advance, as they fear poaching by the ruling party.

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