‘AAP not a challenge for us, it will cut votes of other parties’: Gujarat BJP chief


New Delhi: Taking a jibe at Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief CR Patil on Thursday (November 10, 2022) ruled out any triangular contest in the upcoming Assembly elections and said the fight is between his party and Congress. He also said that the AAP is not a challenge for BJP and that it will “cut votes” of other parties. Patil also claimed that Arvind Kejriwal’s party was nowhere to be seen on the ground.

“There is no triangular contest in Gujarat, the fight is between BJP and Congress. AAP is not a challenge for us. At best, it will cut votes of other parties and will eventually benefit BJP,” he said.

He claimed the BJP will win a record number of seats and get a record percentage of votes in Gujarat under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The entry of the Aam Aadmi Party is seen as an extra dimension to Gujarat’s traditional bipolar elections.

In the fiercely fought Gujarat polls five years ago, the BJP had won 99 seats and its main rival Congress bagged 77 seats. Currently, the BJP’s strength in the 182-member Assembly is 111 after several MLAs from Congress defected to it.

Polling will be held in two phases in Gujarat on December 1 and 5 and the votes will be counted on December 8.

Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba has been actively working for BJP

On the BJP giving ticket to cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Ravindrasinh Jadeja, CR Paatil said that she has been “actively working” for the party.

“Rivaba has been actively working for the party in that constituency and all tickets have been given on the basis of winnability,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the BJP released its first list of 160 candidates for the two-phase elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly and fielded Rivaba Jadeja from Jamnagar North.

BJP eyeing consecutive seventh term in home state of PM Narendra Modi

Eyeing a consecutive seventh term in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP dropped as many as 38 sitting MLAs, some of whom voluntarily announced that they will not contest the assembly elections slated for December 1 and 5.

“Thirty-eight MLAs have been replaced…. BJP usually changes 20 per cent of its MLAs. In electoral democracy change is necessary, otherwise, it will lead to stagnation. We have given tickets to several youngsters. This list shows a generational shift in Gujarat BJP,” Patil said.

Several senior leaders, including former chief minister Vijay Rupani, former deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, former ministers Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, and a few others have withdrawn themselves from the electoral fight.

Asked why these senior leaders are not contesting, Patil said, “They voluntarily decided not to contest. They all have occupied top posts, including that of the chief minister and deputy chief minister. So now they want to work for the organisation.”

Patil said the party has given tickets to several youngsters — Harsh Sanghavi from Majura, Kushikbhai Kantibhai Vekariya from Amreli, Mahesh Kashwala from Savarkundla and Janakbhai Punabhai Talaviya from Lathi.

(With agency inputs)





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