New Cong rule may keep 49 of known ‘losers’ out of fray

Party to deny tickets to those who lost 2 Assembly polls or 1 election with a margin of over 15,000

Hopes of several senior Congress leaders seeking to contest the upcoming Assembly elections are likely to be shattered with the party high command having announced to deny nominations to those who have lost two Assembly elections or one election with a margin of 15,000 and above.

If the criteria is implemented strictly, at least 49 prominent state Congress faces would not be able to contest the upcoming polls.

Prominent among them include former ministers Udesinh Baria, Naresh Raval, Becharbhai Bhadani, industrialist Dhirubhai Gajera, Dr Rajendrasinh Rathod, Shehnaz Babi and Union Minister of State for Small Scale Industries Dinsha Patel.

Dinsha Patel had contested against Chief Minister Narendra Modi from Maninagar in 2007 and had lost by 87,121 votes.

Patel, who was Lok Sabha MP, was fielded against Modi since the party did not have any

other powerful candidate against the CM.

There are four other Congress leaders who had lost by over one lakh votes in 2007. They are Madhuben Pattani, who lost from Asarwa by 1,24,083 votes, Purushottam Harwani, who lost from Naroda by 1,80,442 votes against BJP's Mayaben Kodnani, Shashikant Patel, who lost from Sarkhej by 2,35,823 votes against former minister Amit Shah and Govindbhai Dhanani, who lost from Choriyasi by 3,46,940 votes.

According to party sources, leaders who lost Assembly elections twice include former deputy chief minister Narhari Amin, former ministers Naresh Raval and Arvind Sanghvi, former MLA C J Chavda, former Lok Sabha MP Sagar Raika, former MLA Parimal Solanki and Surendra Rajput.

Party sources said one of the criteria for considering nominations is that the candidate

must have won at least one local bodies elections like municipal, zilla panchayat or taluka panchayat elections.

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