BJP fourth list: Alpesh to contest from Gandhinagar South, Rokadiya from Sayajigunj

The long wait ended for OBC leader Alpesh Thakor with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fielding him from Gandhinagar South seat in the fourth list of 12 candidates that the party put out late Monday.

In the new list, the surprise announcement was that of Vadodara mayor Keyur Rokadiya from Sayajigunj seat.

Thakor, a former Congress MLA from Radhanpur, had quit ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in 2019 to join the BJP but lost the by-elections later from the same seat.

Rokadiya completed Tritiya Shiksha Varg of RSS and has been a close aide of party general secretary Bhargav Bhatt. He has previously served as the chairman of the Municipal School Board of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation. In his first term as a corporator, he was elected mayor in February 2021 for the first half of the five-year term.

Three of the assembly constituencies — Gandhinagar North, Gandhinagar South and Kalol — are part of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat, represented by Union Minister for Home and Co-Operation Amit Shah who is camping in Gujarat since Sunday. Former mayor of Gandhinagar Rita Patel has been nominated for Gandhinagar North constituency, while Bakaji Thakor has been fielded from Kalol constituency.

The other candidates are Lavingji Thakor from Radhanpur, Dr Rajulben Desai from Patan, VD Jhala from Himmatnagar and Babu Singh Jadhav from Vatva, where the MLA and former minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja has been dropped.

Rajul Desai is the former member of National Commission for Women.

Kamlesh Patel is the BJP candidate from Petlad, sitting minister Arjunsinh Chauhan from Mahemdabad, Jayanti Rathwa from Pavi-Jetpur and Mahesh Bhuriya from Jhalod.

Bhuriya is former Jhalod MLA, who recently led the party to victory in Jhalod APMC. The BJP has traditionally won the APMC in Jhalod.

Congress MLA from Jhalod Bhavesh Katara has recently resigned from the Congress and assembly while joining BJP.

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