In a hope to gain power in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state Gujarat, the Congress is using its resources judiciously. In its sixth list it fielded the Dalit activist and lawyer Jignesh Mevani from Vadgam constituency, where from the youth leader earlier won as an independent.
Last year in September, Jignesh Mevani along with former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar joined Congress and it was expected that the party will field him from his pet constituency only.
Mevani shot to fame in 2016 after the floggings of Dalits in Una. As a right activist he remained in the forefront of the movement and in 2017 won the elections from Vadagam as an independent candidate.
The Congress yesterday released total 39 names along with Mevani in their fifth and sixth list. It first released its fifth list with six candidates including Manhar Patel from Botad in place of Ramesh Mer. Later in the evening, it released a list of 33 candidates, taking the total number of candidates declared so far to 142.
The candidates named in the fifth list were Jayanti Jerajbhai Patel from Morbi, Jivan Kumbharvadiya from Jamnagar Rural, Chhattarsinh Gunjariya from Dhrangadhra, Mansukhbhai Kalariya from Rajkot West and Divyesh Chavda from Gariadhar.
In the sixth list of 33 candidates, the candidates fielded by the Congress included Mevani from Vadgam (SC) seat, Thakor Mohansinh from Mansa, Baldevji Thakor from Kalol, Imran Khedawala from Jamalpur-Khadia, Amit Chavda from Anklav and Bal Kishen Patel from Dabhoi.
On November 4, Congress declared its first list of 43 candidates followed by another 46 names on November 10.
It released a list of seven candidates on Friday but one was a replacement for the earlier announced candidate. The fourth list of nine candidates was released on Saturday.
The Congress is pinning its hope on anti-incumbency wave in the state and expecting to cross the magic numbers. In the last elections, it performed well and got 77 seats. Since then the ground situation of the party has changed significantly. Added to that is the emergence of Aam Admi Party (AAP) as a formidable contender.
Elections for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.