Congress yet to de­cide on Pa­tel seats

DNA (Delhi) - - GAME OF THRONES - Anand Mishra cor­re­spon­dent@dnain­

New Delhi: The Congress top brass, while fi­nal­is­ing names of around 80 can­di­dates for the Gu­jarat Assem­bly polls on Fri­day, kept most of Pa­tel dom­i­nated seats out of the am­bit of the de­ci­sion as no fi­nal word is yet out on its ar­range­ment with Pati­dar leader Hardik Pa­tel.

There were some is­sues with re­gard to can­di­dates on four seats seats and hence, they were not fi­nalised, sources said.

The names that were de­lib­er­ated were sin­gle names on the Assem­bly seats and which came be­fore the CEC af­ter de­lib­er­a­tions and scru­tiny at the level of the screen­ing com­mit­tee and be­low. The party had also got in­de­pen­dent feed­back about the can­di­dates.

Emerg­ing af­ter the meet­ing, Gu­jarat Congress chief Bharat Singh Solanki said that the first list of party can­di­dates will be de­clared on Novem­ber 16.

A source in the party said the Congress would like the BJP to de­clare its can­di­dates first as a sec­tion in the party be­lieves that given the com­plex web of so­cial arith­metic at play in Gu­jarat polls this time, such a strat­egy will help it name its can­di­dates take on the BJP can­di­dates.

Congress is try­ing do a bal­anc­ing act be­tween its old Ksha­triya, Har­i­jan, Adi­vasi and Mus­lim (KHAM) with its newly-cul­ti­vated as­so­ci­a­tion with Pa­tels, who have un­der Hardik Pa­tel’s leader protested against the BJP gov­ern­ment in the state over the is­sue of reser­va­tion for them.

Hardik Pa­tel has asked for a cat­e­gor­i­cal re­sponse from Congress on Pati­dar reser­va­tion is­sue.

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