Gujarat elections: Congress seals seat-sharing deal with Chhotu Vasava’s party
Ahmedabad: The Congress has reached an agreement with tribal leader Chhotu Vasava over seat-sharing for the Gujarat elections.
“As part of our commitment following the Rajya Sabha elections, we have formed an alliance with Chhotu Vasava-led party and have offered him three seats,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi.
Vasava, who is leading a faction of Sharad Yadav-led Janata Dal (United), will fight under the banner of the Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), a newly formed party floated by his son Mahesh Vasava. During the Rajya Sabha elections in August this year, Chhotu Vasava, a legislator, voted in favour of veteran Congress leader Ahmed Patel, helping his renomination to the Rajya Sabha.
Chhotu Vasava will contest from Jhagadia in Bharuch district while Uttam Vasava will fight from Mandvi and Mahesh Vasava from Dediapada. All the three constituencies will go to polls in the first phase on 9 December.
Meanwhile, the Congress has revised its list of candidates after facing resistance from members of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) over distribution of tickets. The Congress replaced five Patel candidates it had named in its first list of 77 names. After announcing the first list, there were protests by PAAS members, some of whom even attacked offices of Congress candidates in Surat who were named in the list. On Tuesday, the party said D.M. Patel will contest from Botad, in place of Manohar Patel.
“It is the Congress party’s decision to change the names or not and we have no say in it. We are fighting for reservation of our party and are supporting Congress as it has agreed to our demands. Tomorrow (on Wednesday) I will make an announcement on the reservation formula that Congress has offered and we have accepted,” PAAS convener Hardik Patel said over the phone.
Late on Monday night, the Congress released a new list of 13 candidates for nine other constituencies. The list saw candidates replaced in four constituencies—Junagadh, Bharuch, Kamrej and Varaccha Road in Surat. The revised list was made in consultation with PAAS members, said a Congress leader who did not wish to be named.
Congress and PAAS had on Sunday said they had reached an agreement on the formula for including Patels in quotas for jobs and education.