Rawat, the chief of the Vadodara unit of the party, was the first choice of Congress to contest Lok Sabha polls from Vadodara after clearing the much-talked about primaries exercise for candidate selection initiated by Rahul Gandhi.
But he had withdrawn his candidature, making way for AICC general secretary Madhusudan Mistry Modi to contest from there.
Modi won the seat by a margin of 5.7 lakh votes while Mistry had notched up a little more than 2.5 lakh votes.
Congress has not repeated Mistry this time. The AICC general secretary had contested from Vadodara for the first time in the Lok Sabha polls shifting from his Sabarkantha constituency, which he represented twice in past.
The by-election is scheduled for September 13. Modi, who had contested from both Varanasi and Vadodara seats in Lok Sabha polls retained the Varanasi seat. Rawat had been in the forefront in the fight against the BJP in Vadodara for some time indicating he was in the race for the seat in this by-election. He had organized some protests and demonstrations against the BJP-ruled Vadodara Municipal Corporation sometime back.
The name of former Congress city unit president Suresh Patel was also doing the rounds for the seat. The Gujarat Congress had sent names of three candidates, including Rawat, Patel and Satyajitsinh Gaekwad for the by-polls. But the party ultimately decided in favour of Rawat. Congress has also named its candidates for one assembly seat in Gujarat and two in Rajasthan.
It has fielded Pravin Vala from Talja Assembly seat in Gujarat and Shravan Kumar and Shivkumar Nandwana from Soorajgarh and Kota South Assembly seats in Rajasthan.