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NCP to contest Gujarat polls solo

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which was earlier in talks with the Congress to form an alliance to contest the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections, on Monday decided to contest alone for all the 182 constituencies in the state.

“We have decided to contest all alone and single-handedly for the Gujarat assembly elections. We don’t want to tie up with the Congress as we have been doing in the past.

“Our party will be fielding candidates for all the 182 constituency seats” NCP spokesperson Yusuf Parmar told IANS.

Following the announcement, NCP leader Praful Patel said the part wanted to form an alliance with the Congress but it “did not seem serious and kept on delaying”.

“We are confident that we will do even better alone and bag maximum seats in a solo fight.”

The party’s decision came a day after the Congress declared its first list of 77 candidates for the first phase of the elections slated for December 9.

The list had come hours following the Congress’ announcement that it had struck a deal with Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) for quotas for Patels in jobs and education.

The NCP has been in alliance with the Gujarat Congress in the past for the state assembly elections and has fielded two to three candidates.

Voting for the two-phase polls are scheduled for December 9 and 14. The vote count will take place on December 18.

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