Key Cong meet to finalise nominees today

The crucial meeting of the Congress central election committee (CEC) to finalise the names of candidates for December Assembly elections will be held on Saturday.

Congress leaders, including state party president Arjun Modhwadia, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Shaktisinh Gohil and chairman of the state election campaign committee Shankersinh Vaghela, have rushed to Delhi today for this purpose.

Sources said names of the candidates had to be decided early as the filing of nominations would begin from November 17. The last date for filing nominations for the first phase is November 24.

Party sources said the CEC would also hold discussions with NCP leadership for seat adjustments. NCP was given seven seats by the Congress in 2007 Assembly elections, but the party is demanding 22 seats this time. Congress sources said the party leadership was ready to give 10 seats to NCP.

State NCP general secretary Jagdishchandra Dafda said state NCP president Jayant Patel alias Bosky was already in Delhi. He said Jayant Patel and national NCP leader Praful Patel would hold discussions with national Congress leaders on Saturday over seat-sharing in Gujarat.

Assembly polls are being held in two phases in the state. A total of 95 constituencies in 15 districts in Saurashtra and South Gujarat will be going to polls in the first phase on December 13. The elections for the remaining 87 seats spread over 11 districts in Kutch, central and north Gujarat regions will be held on December 17. The counting will be held on December 20.

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