Updated: February 6, 2021 11:36:35 pm
THE CONGRESS Friday declared its list of candidates for the Vadodara civic body, a day before filing of nominations ended. The “no-surprise” list of 49 candidates ended the suspense over the candidature of sitting corporators Ami Ravat and Chirag Zaveri from wards 1 and 18, respectively. Seven other candidates were given the mandate early on Saturday, hours before the deadline for filing nominations, including two sitting corporators whose apparent exclusion till the last minute had resulted in a major rebellion from factions within.
Hemangini Kolekar, whose repeat turn from Ward 14 was held up until Saturday morning filed her nomination following a major protest by party workers of the ward on Friday night.
On February 1, the party had announced 20 names for the Vadodara municipal corporation polls.
While party repeated Zaveri from ward 18, it did not give Patel a ticket from the civic ward 1. Instead, Patel was replaced by PAAS leader Harish Patel, said to be close to Congress’s state working president Hardik Patel. Rumours about the Congress considering Harish as a candidate had created an uproar among supporters of Atul Patel earlier this week. On Saturday morning, however, party conveyed its mandate to Atul Patel from ward 2 instead, ending the protests from his supporters.
The party has given tickets to four Muslim candidates, though sitting corporator and lone its Muslim representative of the outgoing civic board, Farid Lakhaji, from ward 7 refused to contest the polls following the last delimitation of the wards, which ended in dividing the dominant Muslim areas in his ward between wards 3 and 7.
This time the party has fielded a young Junaid Pathan from ward 6. He is the son of former Congress corporator Manzoor Pathan, who passed away after testing positive for Covid-19 recently. Two other Muslim candidates are Junaid Saiyyed, son of veteran leader Liyaqat Ali Saiyyed from ward 14, Suhana Saiyyed from ward 11 and Ashfaq Malek from Ward 10.
On Saturday, all 69 Congress candidates had filed their nomination papers in Vadodara before the deadline of 3 pm.
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