Paresh Rawal unlikely to contest, BJP leaders queue up to stake claim for his LS seathttps://indianexpress.com/elections/paresh-rawal-unlikely-to-contest-bjp-leaders-queue-up-to-stake-claim-for-his-ls-seat-5627251/

Paresh Rawal unlikely to contest, BJP leaders queue up to stake claim for his LS seat

In the 2104 Lok Sabha elections, Rawal had defeated Congress’s Himmatsinh Patel by over 3.26 lakh votes to win Ahmedabad (East) Lok Sabha seat.

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Veteran Bollywood actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal. 

Several BJP leaders have reportedly put forth their candidature for Ahmedabad (East) Lok Sabha seat from where actor-turned politician Paresh Rawal had won in 2014.

A three-member team of BJP observers, comprising Shanker Chaudhary, Jivraj Chauhan and Asmitaben Shiroya, on Thursday visited party’s Ahmedabad city office in Khanpur area and accepted suggestions and opinions about party’s candidate for the constituency from cadres. After holding consultation for the entire day and taking “sense” of party workers, the team will submit its report to the state-level parliamentary board of the party which will subsequently send its report to the central parliamentary board for final selection of the party candidate.

The state unit of the BJP has formed a three-member team for each of the 26 Lok Sabha constituencies that will hold consultations with party workers of the constituency for shortlisting the candidates. Click here for more election news

Sources said that party leaders who have staked their claim for Ahmedabad (East) ticket include film and theatre actor Manoj Joshi, party spokesperson Bharat Pandya, former MLA Bhushan Bhatt, former Ahmedabad mayors Bhavnaben Dave and Asit Vora, former Union minister Harin Pathak, former state minister Nirmala Wadhwani, former MLA Jagrupsinh Rajput, Ahmedabad city BJP chief Jagdish Panchal and party leader Mahesh Kaswala. Also in the race is senior Patidar social leader and one of the trustees of Vishva Umiya Dham, C K Patel.

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Rawal, according to BJP insiders, is not keen to seek re-election and has conveyed it to the party high command.

In the 2104 Lok Sabha elections, Rawal had defeated Congress’s Himmatsinh Patel by over 3.26 lakh votes.

After receiving feedback from party workers, Shanker Chaudhary told mediapersons that they received around 40-42 representations from each of the seven Assembly segments that form the Ahmedabad (East) Lok Sabha constituency. While not revealing the details of the representations, Chaudhary said that all the party workers had one uniform opinion that they wanted to see the ‘lotus’ (BJP poll symbol) winning from the seat.

Ahmedabad (East) is one of the highly contested constituencies in the state from where many BJP are keen to contest. Other such seats at the centre of attraction as far as BJP’s selection of candidate is concerned include Ahmedabad (West), Gandhinagar, Jamnagar, Mehsana among others.

Ahmedabad (West) is a seat reserved for Scheduled Caste category. The opposition Congress has already declared Raju Parmar as its candidate for the seat. The buzz in political circles is that BJP may not repeat its current MP Kirit Solanki from the seat and may field veteran Dalit leader Ramanlal Vora.

Similarly, all eyes are on Gandhinagar constituency which is currently being held by former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani. If Advani does not fight from the seat, names of a number of high profile leaders are doing rounds for the same, including BJP president Amit Shah and Advani’s daughter Pratibha.

There is curiosity over whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest from Gujarat.

BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said that party observers have completed the task of recording suggestions of party workers of eight Lok Sabha constituencies — Bharuch, Navsari, Panchmahals, Dahod, Ahmedabad (East), Patan, Amreli and Rajkot. The exercise for the remaining Lok Sabha constituencies will take place on Friday and Saturday.