‘Apart from a few, almost all sitting MLAs will get tickets to contest the Assembly polls’.
NEW DELHI: The Congress in Gujarat has completed the task of choosing candidates on most of the Assembly constituencies in the state. A party insider said that almost all the sitting MLAs will get tickets to contest the coming Assembly elections, apart from a few. Moreover, party leaders claim that the committee to select candidates has chosen more than 40% candidates who are first-timers. The party will release the list of candidates in four batches.
A senior party leader said that the last time the Congress had given tickets to more than 45 first-timers, which accounted for 25% and now, the numbers have increased substantially. For the 2022 Assembly elections, the number of freshers are believed to be more than 80 in the complete list of 182 candidates.
Earlier, nearly 900 ticket-seekers had submitted their resumes at the Congress office. The party said that around the date of Diwali, the party will finalize candidates on about 50 seats for the upcoming Assembly election. Moreover, in the 2017 Assembly elections, the Congress received resumes from more than 1,500 ticket-seekers. At the same time, the BJP had received more than 10,000 resumes from ticket-seekers. It is further believed that the BJP may not pick up 30% of its sitting MLAs for the upcoming Assembly elections. The ones who will be refused tickets would be those who have won elections back-to-back in the past.
The decision to bring fresh faces has been taken not only after considering caste and community equations for a constituency and the reach of the party, but also after assessing who is the right candidate for each constituency, a senior Congress leader said.
“The party’s standing is better than last year due to anti-incumbency in the state against BJP and AAP is not existent in the rural areas where we have a stronger base,” he added. Manish Doshi, Gujarat unit Congress spokesperson, indicated to The Sunday Guardian that the Congress may be running a low profile campaign away from the din of media noise. He said, “Gujarat became an independent state after it was separated from Maharashtra in 1960. For almost 27 years after that, the Congress remained in power. In those 27 years, the Congress made infrastructure, streamlined important elements that would drive economy, and made big leaps in setting up industries. It was an era of industrialization. Several industries flourished in Congress rule. Moreover, Gujarat had progressed at that time, we had put in front the needs of small businesses as well as big businesses and let everybody grow in the state.”
He further added, “In BJP’s rule, there has been no development. They couldn’t even build one single dam. All the dams were built by the Congress, there are many such things that have happened only in Congress rule. And now whatever work we had done, we have put that in front of the people of Gujarat. They will decide on the work we had done. The Congress is miles ahead. We have gone to people with this report card and sought to know what the BJP government has given them.”