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    Gujarat Assembly elections 2017: Congress likely to release first list of candidates on Sunday

    By Deepika

    The Congress is likely to release its first list of candidates for the Gujarat Assembly polls next week, the party sources said on Friday.

    Rahul Gandhi

    The Congress has been cautious while selecting the list. It has taken into consideration a host of factors.

    It is looking to create a balance and also accommodate the interests of the Patels, Dalits, and OBCs. While the high command has cleared the names of 70 candidates, a formal announcement to this effect would be made only on Sunday.

    The Congress is yet to arrive at a seat-sharing understanding with the NCP and the rebel faction of JD(U) led by MLA Chhotu Vasava in Gujarat.

    Besides, the party is yet to clinch a deal with the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) for fielding mutually acceptable candidates.

    The sources, however, were at variance on the number of candidates the first list will have.

    According to a source, the party will come out with the list of 70 candidates for the phase one of the election.

    Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the party will take a final call on the matter. He would hold a meeting with the two screening panels set up by the party before making a final announcement on the candidates.

    The Congress is locked in a bitter battle with the ruling BJP in Gujarat, which has been under the saffron party's rule for over two decades.

    Gujarat goes to poll in two phases on 9 December and 14 December. The election result will be declared on 18 December. It will be held in 182 Assembly constituencies.

    OneIndia News (with agency inputs)

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