Former Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Former Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, Two Other BJP Leaders Will Not Contest Ass

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New Delhi: Former Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, former deputy CM Nitin Patel and two other leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday (November 9, 2022) announced that they would not contest the upcoming assembly elections.

Rupani, the sitting MLA, who was chief minister from August 2016 to September 2021, told reporters in Rajkot, “I have decided not to contest this time.”

Former deputy CM Patel wrote a handwritten letter to Gujarat BJP president CR Patil and said that his name should not be considered for ticket from Mehsana, his current assembly seat, as he has decided not to contest the December elections.

Two other BJP leaders – Bhupendrasinh Chudasama and Pradeepsinh Jadeja – who were senior ministers in the Rupani cabinet and are sitting MLAs, also announced that they would not contest next month’s elections.

Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will take place on December 8.

PM Narendra Modi chairs election committee meeting of BJP to finalize candidates for Gujarat Assembly elections

The development comes at a time when the Central Board of Parliament of the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting to finalize the names of candidates for the elections in New Delhi. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel, BJP President JP Nadda and other top leaders also attended the meeting at the party headquarters in the national capital.

According to reports, Hardik Patel and Alpesh Thakor, who left the Congress and joined the saffron party, are likely to get party tickets. Patel may be fielded from Viramgam in Ahmedabad.

Rivaba Jadeja, wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, is also among the possible candidates.

The BJP is likely to field former Morbi MLA Kantilal Amrutya, who allegedly jumped into the river to save people after a bridge collapsed, killing over 130.

BJP is eyeing its seventh consecutive victory in the state.

In the fiercely contested Gujarat elections five years ago, BJP had won 99 seats and its main rival Congress got 77 seats.

At present, the strength of the BJP is 111 in the 182-member Assembly, as many Congress MLAs have joined it and it is unlikely that the saffron party will repeat all the sitting MLAs.

The entry of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Gujarat this time has opened a new front in the otherwise bipolar election.

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