The much talked about bonhomie between Congress and Hardik Patel-led Patidaar Anamat Andolan Samiti or PAAS suffered a blow after the latter raised angry protest soon after Congress came out with its first list of candidates for the Gujarat Assembly Polls.
The PAAS claimed of not been given proper representation after only 2 of its contenders got tickets out of the 77 candidates declared by the Congress late on Sunday.
There are reports that Hardik Patel-led organisation had demanded 20 seats. The two who have been given tickets are Lalit Vasoya from Dhoraji and Amit Thummar from Junagadh seat.
Soon after the announcement was made by Congress, protest broke out in Surat where PAAS members ghearoed the city unit office late in the night and indulged in sloganeering against the Congress. The PAAS members are reported to have raised protest in Ahmedabad as well.
“The Congress has given tickets to two of our members without taking us into confidence. Other Patel candidates that they have selected are bogus. We will hold a massive protests against Congress tomorrow (Monday),” another PAAS convenor Alpesh Kathiria said.
In Ahmedabad, PAAS convenor Dinesh Bhambania, with his supporters reached the house of state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solanki to represent their case.
Earlier in the day, PAAS mebers led by Bhambania and Kahiria had met Solanki and other Congress leaders. After the meeting it was declared that they had reached a compromise formula.
Interestingly, Hardik Patel was neither at the meeting to hold discussions on seat sharing, nor has he reacted to the incident. There are reports of him calling off a crucial Rajkot rally, due today, where he was expected to announce the alliance with Congress
Meanwhile, in its first list of 77 candidates, sitting MLA Indranil Rajyaguru of Rajkot East seat has been fielded to fight against BJP Chief Minister Vijay Rupani from Rajkot West seat. Senior leader Shaktisinh Gohil who is MLA from Abdasa of Kutch has been fielded from Mandvi.
Party has fielded another senior leader Arjun Modhvaida from Porbandar seat which he had lost last time in 2012.
The party has given tickets to all its sitting MLAs on the seats where names were released.
Four former MPs too has been named to contest in the polls — Kunverjai Bavaliya from Jasdan seat, Soma Patel from Limbdi, Tushar Chaudhary from Mahua and Virji Thummer from Lathi seats.
Besides, it has also given tickets to three members of muslim community — Suleman Patel from Vagra, Iqubal Patel from Surat (West) and Mohammed Javed Pirzadda from Vankaner. The first also comprise eleven candidates belong to the scheduled tribe (ST) category and seven are from the scheduled caste (SC) category.
(With inputs from PTI)