The BJP declared its list of 45 candidates for the Junagadh Municipal Corporation (JMC) elections on Friday,a day before the last date for filing nominations. The elections will be held on July 19.
The list includes 39 new faces,including former MP and Union minister Bhavna Chikhaliya,former state minister M L Patel,educationalists G P Kathi and K D Pandya,well-known builder Nilesh Dhuleshiya,and Kalubhai Sukhawani,the MD of a private bus company. Sticking to its no-repeat policy,the BJP has denied ticket to its 29 sitting councillors,including Mayor Jyoti Vachhani,Standing Committee Chairman Bharat Karena and chairmen of the various other committees in the JMC.
The party has,for the first time,fielded a Muslim candidate Abdul Wahab Qureshi. The candidates for six more wards,including Muslim-dominated ward no 3 and 7,are yet to be announced.
According to party sources,the top leaders are considering Muslim candidates this time in view of the partys average performance in the recent Lok Sabha elections.
Though the Congress is yet to come out with its list of candidates,the selection of some big names by the BJP is a clear indication that the party does not want to leave any stone unturned to retain the JMC.