Unhappy Congress workers clash

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Ahmedabad, Nov 28 (UNI) The Gujarat Congress headquarters here was besieged today by unhappy party workers who were denied tickets, and senior party leaders disappeared after tempers ran high last supporters and leaders, claiming to be the ''real'' candidates from two city assembly constituencies, arrived at the headquarters.

The Congress office was locked as supporters of ticket seekers from two constituencies -- Dariapur-Kazipur and Rakhial, turned hostile while claiming to be the ''real candidates''.

With the Congress High Command deciding to leave Daripur seat for Lok Janshakti Party, former Congress MLA Surendra Rajput became hostile and claimed that he has the official candidate and filed nominations. Mukesh Gurjar of LJP has also filed his nomination papers for the same seat.

In Rakhial constituency, supporters of former mayor Himmatsinh Patel and Dhirubhai Dudhwala clashed in which several persons, including a policeman, were injured.

Dudhwala has the support of dissident BJP MLA Gordhan Zhadphia who is not contesting himself. Mr Zhadphia had suggested Mr Dudhwala's name to the Congress.

Daskroi Congress leader Pankaj Patel has quit from the post of the party secretary in protest against the ticket given to Madhobhai Thakur. He has faxed his message to party president Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and other senior leaders. He has, however, clarified that he will continue to work for the party as a ''soldier''.

Mr Patel said he was deeply hurt by the behaviour of the top party leaders and alleged that the ''Congress was turning into a BJP-like party''. He said that BJP dissidents were given party ticket at the cost of sincere Congress leaders who had toiled for the party.

He said that top party leaders did not even have the courtesy to inform other ticket seekers that they would not get tickets. Party leaders should have shown this courtesy and asked all to support the candidate who was alloted the party nomination, he said.


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