‘Godmother’ Santokben’s son in NCP list of nine

The NCP on Friday announced the names of nine of its candidates including late "Godmother" Santokben Jadeja's son Kandhal.

The party is fighting the state Assembly polls in alliance with Congress with whom it has finally tied up after days of hard bargaining over a few seats.

In the 2007 elections, NCP fought on 10 seats in alliance with Congress and won three.

Kandhal Jadeja, a Porbandar gangster and son of Santokben, has more than a dozen criminal cases pending against him. He will be contesting from Kutiyana seat against Karsan Odedera of BJP.

He had recently challenged his extern order issued by the local administration from four districts of Saurashtra region, including Porbandar, in the Gujarat High Court saying the state government was pressuring him to help BJP in the elections. The HC has stayed the order till the elections.

State NCP chief Jayant Patel, a sitting MLA from Sarsa, will contest from Umreth Assembly constituency.

Sitting MLA from Gondal, Chandu Vaghasiya, who was recently arrested in connection with a scam, will contest from the same seat. Vaghasia had won the Gondal seat by a wafer-thin margin of 488 votes. This time, he will be pitted against Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) secretary and former minister in the Modi government, Gordhan Zadaphia.

Pankaj Chauhan will contest from Devgadh Baria. Sitting NCP MLA of Devgadh Baria, Tusharsinh Maharaul, had joined BJP last month.

Chandubhai Thakkar will contest from Vaav constituency while Raghubhai Bharwad has been fielded from Shehra Assembly constituency. Rajdeep Jamir Khan will be fighting the polls from Limbayat in Surat.

Navinbhai Patel will contest from Visnagar seat in Mehsana district while Nileshbhai Patel will contest from Akota assembly constituency in Vadodara.

Some Congress leaders had opposed any seat-sharing agreement with the NCP for the Akota seat.

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