Logjam over Botad seat between PAAS, Congress

Patidar leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday called off a press conference after differences cropped up between his Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and the Congress over the Botad assembly constituency.

After a meeting with PAAS leaders and agreeing on the reservation demands, the Congress had hoped it had overcome the disagreements between the two sides. But PAAS remains unhappy.

The Congress had to accommodate two more Patidar faces in its second list of candidates announced on Sunday. After that, Hardik Patel was to make a formal announcement regarding the community's support for the Congress in the Assembly elections.

But trouble has erupted over Botad seat. 

The Congress has fielded Manhar Patel as its candidate. Manhar Patel is a rebel Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member who defected to the Congress. 

PAAS members wanted their convener Dilip Sabwa to get the nomination. Tuesday is the last day for filing of nominations for the first phase of the Assembly elections due on December 9.

PAAS Botad members have threatened to oppose Manhar Patel's nomination and to support the third front if the Congress doesn't drop him. 

According to informed sources, senior Congress leaders have rushed to Botad to pacify the Patidar leaders.

Meanwhile, the BJP, which had announced 181 candidates for the 182 assembly seats, announced that Piyushbhai Desai will be the nominee for the Navsari seat in tribal dominated southern Gujarat. 

The tribal groups were demanding their representation from the saffron party but the BJP has not relented.


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