AAP publishes 4th list of 12 candidates for Gujarat Assembly polls; 41 seats covered so far

Ahmedabad: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) released its fourth list of 12 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections on Thursday, giving tickets to people from a cross-section of society, including teachers, businessmen and tribesmen.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led party had previously announced 29 candidates for the year-end parliamentary elections in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state. With the latest list, the party headquartered in Delhi, which aims to compete for all 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat, has announced 41 candidates so far. The fourth candidate list includes 12 seats, two of which are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST) – Garbada and Gandevi.

Two of these 12 seats were won by Congress in 2017, while ten were won by the BJP. Two of these dozen seats – Amraiwadi and Vatva – are located in the city of Ahmedabad, while one – Limbayat – is in the city of Surat. Among the candidates in the latest list are teachers, businessmen and social workers, Gujarat AAP president Gopal Italia said.

The candidate list includes Nirmalsinh Parmar for Himatnagar seat who is a retired teacher while Doulat Patel for Gandhinagar (South) is a businessman. Kuldeep Vaghela (Sanand seat) is an industrialist, Bipil Patel (Vatva) runs a clothing store and Bharat Patel (Amraiwadi) is an AAP employee who has participated in the corporate elections in the past, Italia told reporters.

Among other candidates, Ramjibhai Chudasama (Keshod) is a Koli community leader who has been associated with the Congress in the past. Natwarsinh Rathod (Thasra, Kheda district) has worked as a panchayat member of the district, while Takhatsinh Solanki (Shehra, Panchmahal district) is a popular leader in the region, Italia said.

Dinesh Baria (Kalol, Panchmahal district) is an art teacher while Shailesh Bhabhor (Garbada) is an AAP employee. Pankaj Tayde (Limbayat, Surat) is a businessman and social worker, while Pankaj Patel (Gandevi) is a young tribal leader, the AAP leader said.

The AAP, which rules Punjab and the National Capital Territory of Delhi, has positioned itself as the main challenger to the BJP, which has been in power in Gujarat for nearly three decades now. AAP Chairman and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has campaigned aggressively in the state, holding rallies and town halls, and providing a host of pre-poll “guarantees”, including free electricity and better education and health care, to lure voters.

The opposition congress and the BJP have yet to release their lists of nominees. The Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has announced three candidates.

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