Gujarat Assembly polls: Sitting BJP MLA Kesarisinh Solanki joins AAP
The BJP has received a setback in Gujarat, ahead of the Assembly elections in the State as MLA Kesarisinh Solanki joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Thursday.
Solanki, the sitting BJP MLA representing the Matar Assembly seat in Gujarat's Kheda district, joined the Arvind Kejriwal-led party a day after the ruling party released the first list of candidates for the upcoming elections.
Gujarat AAP President Gopal Italia informed about the development.
"Kesarisinh Solanki ji, a popular, hardworking, fearless MLA of Matar Vidhan Sabha, has joined the Aam Aadmi Party today after getting inspired by the honest politics of Arvind Kejriwal. I heartily welcome Kesarisinh ji to the Aam Aadmi Party. Together we will form an honest government in Gujarat," Italia said in a tweet late Thursday night.
The BJP has fielded Kalpesh Parmar in place of Solanki who won the seat twice in 2014 and 2017.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday announced the first list of candidates for 160 candidates out of the 182 constituencies, which includes 14 female candidates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.
With the Assembly elections scheduled for December 1 and 5 in the State, the BJP leaders in a press conference held in Delhi announced this first list on the majority of the constituencies.
The list of 160 candidates includes 14 females, 13 from scheduled caste, 24 from the scheduled tribe and there are 69 candidates who have been repeated.
The ruling party has also given a ticket to former Congress leader Hardik Patel, who quit the party and joined the BJP, from the Viramgam constituency.
Other Congress leaders who joined BJP from Congress in the past like Jawahar Chavda (he was also the cabinet minister in Vijay Rupani's ministry), Ashvin Kotwal and Pradyumansinh Jadeja have been given tickets from Manavadar, Khedbrahma and Abdasa constituencies respectively.
Meanwhile, Senior BJP leaders like Vijay Rupani, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Nitin Patel and Pradipsinh Jadeja on Wednesday night stated they do not want to contest the elections and have also conveyed the same to the higher authorities in Delhi.
Gujarat Chief Minister will be contesting from the Ghatlodia constituency.
BJP is in power in the state from the last 27 years and is considered as BJP bastion.
Gujarat has been the BJP bastion for decades and the party is seeking its seventh term in office.
The elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5. The counting of votes will occur on December 8, which coincides with Himachal Pradesh's result date.
While Congress is seeking to oust the BJP, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also making efforts to put up a strong performance in the polls.
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