Amit Shah, charged in Sohrabuddin case, gets ticket

Gujarat's controversial former minister of state for home Amit Shah, who is accused in an alleged fake encounter case, was Wednesday nominated by the BJP to contest next month's assembly election from Naranpura constituency.

Shah is facing charges in the alleged fake encounters of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati. He returned to the state in September after the Supreme Court rejected the CBI's plea to cancel his bail given by Gujarat High Court.

Considered to be a key strategist of CM Narendra Modi, he represents Sarkhej constituency that has been eliminated by delimitation. His name was among the 89 the BJP announced in its second list. Modi's entire cabinet and almost all junior ministers were renominated, although they will contest from different constituencies due to delimitation.

The party did not announce its candidates for five seats, including Dehgam and Gandhinagar North, from where the Congress may field former CM Shankersinh Vaghela. Reached for his comment, Vaghela told The Indian Express that he would contest only if the party wanted him to.

"If the party sees me as captain of the kabaddi team, they will consider," Vaghela said, referring to a BJP video ad showing a kabaddi game in which one team wearing saffron jerseys has a clear captain and the rival team fumbles when its captain is called.

Others nominated by the BJP include former MLA Kalu Maliwad, who was accused in one of the 2002 riot cases in Panchmahals and went on to become an MLA in elections that followed later that year. He was one of the main organisers of Modi's Sadbhavana fast in Godhra. Two former Vaghela loyalists, Jagrupsinh Rajput and Girish Parmar are also on the BJP's second list.

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