Published: Sat, November 18, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

BJP should explain low GDP growth in Gujarat: Scindia

BJP should explain low GDP growth in Gujarat: Scindia

Patidar campaigner Hardik Patel's group has set a new deadline for the Congress to come clean on reservations for the community, a threat that is seen as an attempt to force the Congress into accepting its recommendations for party tickets for next month's elections.

The Congress party on Friday held talks with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Sharad Yadav-led faction of JD-U over a possible alliance ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections.

Despite the discussions that went on till late evening, the party may take a couple of days more to announce the list of candidates for the 9 December and 14 December polls.

All the five Congress legislators who had switched loyalty and joined the BJP just before the Rajya Sabha polls recently were obliged by the BJP. The party has named Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani as its candidate from Rajkot West.

The clip emerged in the afternoon when Patel was in a meeting with key members of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) here to discuss the proposal given by the opposition Congress about how the party would grant reservation to Patels if voted to power.

Contrary to speculations that many sitting BJP MLAs will be denied tickets this time, the party has dropped only three sitting MLAs.

Elections for Gujarat Assembly will be carried out in two phases on December 9 and 14.

Main rival Congress, which is still finalising candidates, has adopted a BJP-like approach in the Gujarat elections, screening candidates through multiple surveys for winnability.

Dinesh Bamania, convener of PAAS, claimed that Gujarat Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki initially had a brief meeting with them and told them that there would be a detailed meeting again after the Congress Central Election Committee's meeting got over. The party has repeated 49 sitting legislators in the first list, dropping only one to accommodate a Patel or Patidar candidate. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani should answer as to why Gujarat GDP growth had been lagging at around 6.5 per cent during the last 22 years of the BJP rule. The results will be announced along with that of Himachal Pradesh assembly on December 18.

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