BJP repeats 40 MLAs, its Muslim face not in list

Narendra Modi

The first list has no Muslims even for minority-dominated seats of Vagra and Wankaner. State BJP's minority morcha chief Mahebubali Baba Chishty, who was being projected as the Muslim face and star campigner of the party, has not been given a ticket. He was hopeful of getting a nomination from a constituency in Surat, where names of all candidates have been declared.

Industries Minister Saurabh Patel has not been repeated from Botad seat, which post-delimitation has more Koli voters than Patel. Congress has fielded its Koli heavyweight, Rajkot MP Kunvarji Bavalia, from this seat.

Finance Minister Vaju Vala has been repeated for the seventh time from Rajkot West seat, which was Rajkot-II before delimitation.

BJP has not obliged two senior organisation men, Vijay Rupani from Rajkot and I K Jadeja from Surendranagar. While Rupani, a former Rajya Sabha member, had showed interest in contesting from Rajkot West, Jadeja had lost from Dhrangadhra in 2007.

Talking of young and new faces, there are 10 candidates in the list who are below 30 years in age. Prominent among them is Kashyap Shukla, who is being fielded from Rajkot East. Shukla is the son of RSS veteran Chiman Shukla, who along with Shankersinh Vaghela had toppled the Keshubhai Patel-led BJP government in 1995.

In Rajkot, BJP has dropped two sitting MLAs, Kalu Virani from Savarkundla and Shambhu Tundiya from Dasada. Virani recently landed into a controversy when his daughter Ritu wrote to Modi not to repeat her father and made allegations of corruption against him.

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