The only MP to be dropped was Devaji Fatepura, who has been replaced with Dr Mahendra Munjapara.
Ahmedabad: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) list of 15 candidates for Gujarat has left many observers surprised, because it did not contain any surprise element.
Although it was being expected that the party would try out new faces or attempt political experiments in its fortress, but the BJP seems to have decided to play it safe.
Party president Amit Shah’s nomination from Gandhinagar was already announced earlier. The BJP has repeated 14 sitting MPs, the only one to be dropped was Devaji Fatepura from Surend-ranagar. He has been replaced by Dr Mahendra Munjapara, an educated face from the Koli community.
Mr Fatepura has gone into a sulk and is threatening to quit. He was in the Congress before switching over to the BJP in 2014.
The list features three women — Ranjan Bhatt, Dr Bharti Shiyal and Poonam Madam — and four tribal candidates. Many leaders were expecting changes in the Amreli, Vadodara and Jamnagar constituencies.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, the party had lost five Assembly segments in the Amreli Lok Sabha constituency due to resentment among the Patidar voters. Hence, it was expected that the party would field a Patidar candidate, but it did not.
At Vadodara, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had contested the last time, the names of Union finance minister Arun Jaitley or someone from national leadership were doing the rounds but sitting MP Ranjan Bhatt was fielded again.
Ms Poonam Madam is also repeated from Jamnagar, ending all speculations of that cricketer Ravindra Jadeja’s wife Rivaba Jadeja could be given the party ticket.
“This may be due to the confidence of the top leadership in Gujarat or the exercise is just to avoid any possible revolt,” said a party leader on condition of anonymity.