Ticket allocations: City Cong chief, 12 councillors resign

The distribution of tickets for the second phase of assembly elections in Ahmedabad city created a storm on Friday, with 12 Congress municipal councillors and city Congress president Pankaj Shah submitting their resignations and state Congress (doctor's cell) president Dr Vidyut Desai joining the BJP.

There was a virtual revolt in the city unit after the party dropped the candidature of sitting MLAs Sabir Kabliwala from Jamalpur-Khadia seat and Farooq Sheikh from Kalurpur Dariapur seat.

Both the MLAs have filed nominations as independents against party's official nominees Sameerkhan Pathan from Jamalpur-Khadia and Gyasuddin Sheikh from Kalupur-Dariapur.

Kabliwala is unhappy because Pathan, he claims, is an outsider. Pathan, son of state Congress Minority cell president Vazirkhan Pathan, is a native of Visnagar and lives in Juhapura under Vejalpur assembly constituency.

Gyasuddin, also a sitting MLA, had lost his constituency of Shahpur in the delimitation exercise. However, the party renominated him from Dariapur.

Party sources said that following delimitation, the voter composition of Kalupur-Dariapur was changed and it was not possible for Farooq to retain the seat. Gyasuddin, according to party leaders, was chosen because of his relations with majority voters in the area. They said that a Muslim candidate could win only if he could influence at least 10 per cent of the Hindu voters in the constituency and Gyasuddin, according to them, fits the bill.

Meanwhile, former deputy chief minister Narhari Amin, who had threatened to quit the Congress following denial of ticket, was placated on Friday. He neither filed nomination as an independent nor resigned from the party. He told mediapersons that he had not taken a final decision yet to leave the party.

Amin was denied nomination as the party high command had taken a decision not to field those who had lost assembly elections for two times in a row or lost the 2007 assembly elections by 15,000 and above votes.

But going by his influence over Patel voters, the party had earlier decided to field Amin either from Gandhinagar South or North. But the local leaders from the two constituencies revolted. The party had to suffer a major setback with Gandhinagar mayor and majority of the corporators defecting to BJP over the decision to field Amin.

Sources said that state party leaders as also national party leaders had detailed talks with Amin over the issue and convinced him not to get disturbed and work for the party. He had been assured important role in the event of party coming to power in the state, they added.

Finally, party fields candidate in Akota

Vadodara: The city Congress on Friday rejoiced after the party gave mandate to one of the candidates to contest election from the controversial Akota constituency, which the party had earlier decided to give to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) under a seat-sharing agreement between the two parties.

Congress leaders said the agreement between the two parties for Akota had broken down and both the parties will contest elections. Congress candidate Lalit Patel filed his candidature today, and will have to contest against BJP heavyweight Saurabh Patel and Nilesh Patel of NCP, among others.

The NCP had announced the name of its candidate from Akota much before it had arrived at a seat-sharing arrangement with the Congress. The decision was met with resistance from the local Congress party workers who said they were better prepared to take on BJP candidate at Akota.

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