Gujarat BJP finalises candidates for polls to 6 civic bodies

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Ahmedabad, Feb 4 (PTI) The Gujarat BJP's parliamentary board has finalised its candidates for polls to six municipal corporations to be held on February 21, state party president C R Paatil said on Thursday.

The party also released its first list of 72 candidates for 18 wards in the Rajkot Municipal Corporation.

Talking to reporters at the state BJP headquarters in Gandhinagar, Paatil said the list of party's candidates for the other five municipal corporations - Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar - will be released by evening.

'Our state parliamentary board, which met between February 1 and 3, has finalised 576 candidates for polls to the six municipal corporations. All the names will be declared by today evening,' he said.

All the candidates will file their nomination papers on Friday,' Paatil said.

On February 1, the ruling BJP announced it will not give tickets to relatives of its leaders.

It will also not consider party workers who are above 60 years of age and those who have completed three terms as councillors.

Justifying the decision of the state parliamentary board, Paatil said it is necessary to give chance to young people, especially when the BJP's active workers' strength is 1.14 crore in Gujarat.

'Even former mayors are barred from seeking tickets.

All our leaders and workers have welcomed this decision and seniors have made their way for the young blood without any hesitation. This is the speciality of the BJP,' he said.

Notably, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's niece Sonal Modi has sought a ticket from the BJP to fight the civic body polls in Ahmedabad city.

Meanwhile, due to the new rules, 11 sitting corporators of Rajkot have been dropped this time, Rajkot BJP president Kamlesh Mirani said.

In all, around 20 sitting corporators have not been given tickets, he told reporters in Rajkot.

'Among these, four have crossed the age of 60 while seven have completed three or more terms. Thus, as per the new rules, they are dropped this time' Mirani said.

Former MLA from Rajkot-Rural seat, Bhanuben Babariya, has been given ticket for ward no.1.

The opposition Congress has so far declared the names of 180 candidates for various wards in the six civic bodies.

Elections to the six municipal corporations will take place on February 21, while voting in 81 municipalities, 31 district panchayats and 231 taluka panchayats on February 28.