New Delhi: In a surprise move, the BJP parliamentary board has decided to give ticket to the controversial former Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah. He will contest from Naranpura constituency. Amit Shah, a close aide of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is currently accused in Soharabuddin Sheikh and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases.
Sohrabuddin Shaikh was allegedly killed in a fake encounter in November 2005 and his close aide Tulsi was killed in December 2006 by the same set of police personnel, who are presently behind bars for the killing of Sohrabuddin Shaikh and his wife Kauser Bi.
BJP's Central Election Committee declared the list of candidates, comprising of 89 names, for the two-phase Gujarat Assembly elections to be held on December 13 and 17. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi presented the list of prospective candidates in the CEC meeting and got the central leadership's assent.
Shah, who is facing allegations of his involvement in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case and was externed from Gujarat earlier, will contest from Naranpura. A close confidant of Modi, Shah was reportedly in touch with the police officials who allegedly carried out Sohrabuddin's encounter.
Other prominent candidates announced include Anandiben Patel, a close Modi associate, who will contest from Ghatlodiya. It is widely rumoured that she may take over the mantle in Gujarat if Modi moves to national politics after the polls.
Bharatbhai Barot, another leader from Modi's coterie, will be in the fray from Dariapur. Unconfirmed reports said 27 of 122 BJP MLAs have been denied a ticket in these polls. BJP has declared 177 candidates for the 182-member Gujarat Assembly. There are 19 women, seven Scheduled Caste and 11 Scheduled Caste in today's list of candidates.
(With additional inputs from PTI)