The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today released its fourth list of 12 candidates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, giving tickets to people from a cross-section of society, including teachers, businesspersons and tribals.
The Arvind Kejriwal-led party had earlier announced 29 candidates for the year-end Assembly polls in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled state. With the latest list, the Delhi-headquartered party, which seeks to contest on all the 182 Assembly seats in Gujarat, has so far announced 41 candidates.
The fourth list of candidates covers 12 seats, two of which are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST) - Garbada and Gandevi. Two out of these 12 seats were won by the Congress in 2017, while ten were bagged by the BJP.
Two of these dozen seats --Amraiwadi and Vatva -- are in Ahmedabad city, while one - Limbayat - is in Surat city.
Among the candidates in the latest list are teachers, businessmen and social workers, Gujarat AAP president Gopal Italia said.
The candidate list includes Nirmalsinh Parmar for Himatnagar seat, who is a retired teacher, while Doulat Patel for Gandhinagar (South) is a businessman. Kuldeep Vaghela (Sanand seat) is an industrialist, Bipil Patel (Vatva) runs a garments shop and Bharat Patel (Amraiwadi) is an AAP worker who has contested corporation election in the past, Mr Italia told reporters.
Among other candidates, Ramjibhai Chudasama (Keshod) is a leader from the Koli community who was in the past associated with the Congress.
Natwarsinh Rathod (Thasra, Kheda district) has worked as a district panchayat member, while Takhatsinh Solanki (Shehra, Panchmahal district) is a popular leader in the region, Mr Italia said.
Dinesh Baria (Kalol, Panchmahal district) is an arts teacher, while Shailesh Bhabhor (Garbada) is an AAP worker. Pankaj Tayde (Limbayat, Surat) is a businessman and social worker, while Pankaj Patel (Gandevi) is a young tribal leader, the AAP leader said.
The AAP, which rules Punjab and National Capital Territory of Delhi, has positioned itself as the main challenger to the BJP, which is in power in Gujarat for nearly three decades now.
AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been aggressively campaigning in the state, holding rallies and town halls and making a host of pre-poll "guarantees", including free electricity and better education and healthcare facilities, to woo voters.
The Opposition Congress and the BJP have yet to release their lists of nominees. The Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has announced three candidates.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)