BSP candidate, 8 independents file nomination for phase 1

A BSP candidate was among nine candidates who filed their nominations for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections to be held on December 13.

Rajabhai Parmar will contest from the Somnath seat on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket.

Meanwhile, two candidates, Hirjibhai Chotaliya and Mansukhbhai Bhatt, have filed their nomination papers from the Visavadar Assembly constituency as Independents, from where Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) president Keshubhai Patel is likely to contest.

Visavadar in Junagadh district has a sizeable population of Leuva Patels, a sub-caste among Patels to which Keshubhai belongs. The Patel community which comprises 19 per cent of the state population, will be a decisive factor in the entire Saurashtra region, which votes in the first phase.

Saurashtra, which sends 52 legislators to the 182-member state Assembly was plagued by poor monsoon this season and saw a rise in the number of farmer suicides. It is also the epicentre of protests by rebel BJP MLA Kanubhai Kalsariya, who heads the Sadbhavana Manch.

In an earlier interview, Kanubhai Kalsariya had said his Sadbhavana Manch would contest five seats in the coastal Bhavnagar and Amreli districts.

Several independents have filed their nomination taking the total candidates who have submitted their papers to 12 till now.

Sumanbhai Multani has filed his papers from Morbi, while Merambhai Jogragiya has filed his nomination papers from Jasdan in Rajkot, which has a sizeable Koli population.

Mansukhbhai Yadav, Kalabhai Pandya, Maganbhai Narola and Jadhavbhai Dhaki have filed their nomination papers from Savarkundla, Talaja, Lathi and Talala Assembly constituencies.

Filing nomination papers is expected to hit a feverish pitch after Election Commission issued a notification for the first phase of Gujarat Assembly elections for 87 constituencies on Saturday.

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