Ahmedabad: Mohammad Javed Pirzada, Suleman Patel and Iqbalbhai Patel are few Muslims who figured in Congress first list for the 2017 Gujarat assembly elections.
The Congress party on Sunday late in the night released the first list of the party candidates containing 77 names. Names of 22 candidates who are from Patidar community, including 03 from Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) of Hardik Patel are also there in the list.
The list was finalisd after a late night deal between the Congress and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS).
According to the list, Mohammad Javed Pirzada has been fielded by the Congress from Wankaner assembly seat, Suleman Patel from Vagra and Iqbalbhai Patel from Surat West.
There was a strong demand from the community to give Congress party ticket to a Muslim from Surat East assembly seat. The party however turned down this risk and fielded Nitin Bharucha.
Surat East in the last week saw some unruly scene when banners warning that the Congress will not get a single Muslim vote if it did not field a Muslim from this seat which has a sizeable number of Muslim voters.
Of the total 2.4 lakh votes in Surat-East, Muslims comprise around 84,000, while Vohras and Dalits number about 3,500 and 14,000, respectively.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded Salim Multani from Surat East.
Out of the total candidates nominated, 11 belong to the scheduled tribe (ST) category and seven are from the scheduled caste (SC) category.
Shaktisinh Gohil, the sitting MLA from Abdasa, will contest these polls from the Mandvi constituency in Kutch. He is also said to be the frontrunner for the post of chief minister, should Congress garner a majority.
PAAS leader Lalit Vasoya will fight elections in the Dhoraji seat. The big battle, however, is between Indranil Rajyaguru and the sitting chief minister Vijay Rupani in Rajkot West.
Arjun Modhvadia, former leader of Opposition from 2004 to 2007, will lock horns with the sitting MLA and minister in the Gujarat cabinet, Babu Bokhiria in the Porbandar seat.
The three PAAS leaders given tickets included Saurashtra convener Lalit Vasoya who has been given a ticket from Dhoraji, Amit Thummar who will contest from Junagadh and Ravi Ambaliya who has been fielded from Jetpur.
The Congress list comes with barely two days left to file nominations for the first phase of the election.
The 2017 Assembly elections in Gujarat are scheduled to be held in two phases on December 09 and December 14. Counting of votes will be done on December 18.