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A large number of Patidars, including sitting corporators of the Surat Municipal Corporation, have shown interest in contesting the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections on Congress tickets.
Ravindra Patil, the municipal councillor from Limbayat’s Ward no. 24 who had recently joined Congress after being suspended from BJP, also filled the form to contest Assembly elections from Limbayat on Monday. He was suspended by BJP after he invited state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki to an event to celebrate the birth anniversary of Maratha king Shivaji.
“BJP pushed me out of their house, so I have to find out a new house. I have found it in Congress. The upcoming Assembly elections is not against BJP, but against Hitlsershahi and dictatorship of BJP MP C R Patil and BJP MLA Sangita Patil. People of Limbayat want to come out from terror of BJP leaders,” Ravindra Patel told The Indian Express.
Around 12 observers from the state Congress unit, Surat city Congress president Hasmukh Desai and south Gujarat in-charge Badruddin Shaikh, along with a local team, have been assessing the ticket seekers at Congress’s office at Sosyo Circle in the city.
Several Congress leaders, workers and acting municipal councillors remained present before the observer team and put forward their interest in contesting the Assembly elections.
There are 12 Assembly seats in Surat — Olpad, Kamrej, Surat East, Surat North, Varachha, Karanj, Limbayat, Udhna, Majura, Katargam, Surat West and Choryasi.
The Patidar votes play a big factor on seats like Kamrej, Varachha, Karanj, Surat North, Olpad and Katargam.
Earlier, Congress had to work hard to find suitable candidates in the Patidar-dominated assembly seats, but now a large number of Patidars, including sitting municipal councillors, have shown interest in contesting the polls.
According to sources, there were 29 applicants for a Congress ticket from Limbayat, 29 from Surat East, 21 from Kamrej, 13 from Karanj, 12 from Varachha, seven from Katargam, four each from Udhna and Surat North, three each from Majura and Choryasi and two from Surat West.
Dinesh Kachhadia, Municipal councillor from Ward no. 5 Phoolpada, said, “People of Surat had bad experience from demonetisation and even today the ATM centres in Surat city are not having full cash. Another factor is the Patidar stir. In the last municipal elections, the Patidars have voted for Congress.”