Gandhinagar, Nov 20: There is nothing fake about it. On Sunday night, Gujarat witnessed its first 'official' political scandal ahead of the state elections.
Just an hour before the "official" release of the Congress' first list of candidates for the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections, scheduled on December 9 and 14, on Sunday a list of candidates of the grand old party was doing the rounds on social media.
The list featured 71 candidates of the Congress for the state polls. However, the official list featured 77 candidates of the Congress.
In fact, after several media houses reported that the Congress had announced its first list of 71 candidates for the state polls, Bharatsinh Madhavsinh Solanki, the president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), tweeted to tell that the list is a "fake one".
A Fake list of @INCGujarat Candidates is going around on Social Media with my signature. It is fake & We have released no such list.— Bharat Solanki (@BharatSolankee) November 19, 2017
Authority to declare the candidates completely lies with Central Election Committee & List of Candidates is always declared from Delhi by AICC.
However, within an hour, Solanki again tweeted to inform that the Congress has come up with its first 'official' list of 77 candidates for the polls.
This is our 1st Candidate list of 77 Candidates for #GujaratElection2017.— Bharat Solanki (@BharatSolankee) November 19, 2017
Congratulations & Best wishes to all the 77 Candidates. કોંગ્રેસ આવે છે, નવસર્જન લાવે છે! #NavsarjanGujarat pic.twitter.com/C8OCsbTavR
While many political analysts stated that the Congress was nervous and retracted from its first list, the grand old party alleged that the "first" list was a fake one and a handiwork of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"The BJP must answer people why did it resort to such gimmick and circulated the false list. It must apologise to the public," said Manish Doshi, the GPCC spokesperson, on a false list of Congress candidates circulating on social media.
"The letter pad of Congress and signatures of our president have been misused to circulate false list on social media. Upon investigation by our IT cell, it was found the phone used for BJP's website was used to circulate the list," Doshi added.
Till the filing of the report, the BJP did not react to the Congress' allegations.
On Sunday night, the Congress camp in Gujarat witnessed more trouble. Clashes broke out between members of the Congress and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) over ticket distribution after the grand old party announced the release of its "genuine" list of candidates.
The Congress decided to announce its first list of candidates on Sunday after the BJP announced its second list of candidates on Saturday. So far, the BJP has announced 106 candidates for the upcoming elections to the 182-member state Assembly. The results of the elections will be announced on December 18.