The Congress has already opened channels of negotiations with Patidars for their support.
New Delhi: The Congress vice president, Rahul Gandhi will be embarking on his fourth visit to Gujarat from Saturday.
Hitting the campaign trail in the BJP bastion of North Gujarat Gandhinagar, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha Mr Gandhi is aiming to consolidate the grip of the Congress amongst the Patidars.
Interestingly North Gujarat was the epicenter of the Patidar agitation. The Congress has already opened channels of negotiations with Patidars for their support.
Senior leader and MP Mr Kapil Sibal who has been appointed as a special negotiator with the Patidars has already held a meeting with leaders of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti to find ways of giving reservation to the Patidars.
Insiders privy to the meeting said that the Congress showed political commitment in fulfilling reservation for Patidars in educational institutions and government jobs. Meanwhile the Congress on Friday began the process of shortlisting candidates for Gujarat polls. Insiders claim that all Gujarat Congress MLAs, who voted for the party during the Rajya Sabha polls would be repeated. Sources indicated Congress’ Central Election Committee on Friday cleared the names of 70 candidates for the first phase of Gujarat polls. The Central Election Committee meeting of the Congress was chaired by Ms Sonia Gandhi. The first list is only expected to be released sometime later next week.