The ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday declared 160 candidates out of 182 for the Gujarat elections.

Announcing the list of candidates, senior BJP leader and Gujarat in-charge Bhupendra Yadav informed that the names included 13 candidates from scheduled caste, 24 from the scheduled tribe, 14 women, and 69 sitting members of the assembly. Yadav also said that the party has replaced 38 candidates with new faces.

On November 9, the BJP’s Central Parliamentary Committee met under the chairmanship of Party President JP Nadda with senior party leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in attendance.

As per the list announced, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel will contest from his constituency Ghatlodiya in Ahmedabad. Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghvi has been repeated from Majura constituency in South Gujarat.

Unwilling to contest

Barely hours before the final list was announced, senior party leaders wrote to Gujarat BJP Chief CR Paatil about their unwillingness to contest the upcoming polls.

“Senior party leaders including the former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Nitinbhai Patel had expressed that they will not contest and will work for the party,” said Yadav at the briefing in New Delhi.

Among other senior leaders withdrawing from contesting the polls include former ministers Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Pradipsinh Jadeja, Kaushik Patel and RC Faldu. The party, meanwhile, has dropped sitting ministers and senior leaders such as Rajendra Trivedi and Assembly speaker Nimaben Acharya.

Hardik Patel, a young Patidar face, will contest from Viramgam, while Rivaba Jadeja, wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, will contest from Jamnagar North.

The party has declared all 84 candidates for the first phase of polls that will be held on December 1. The second phase of voting will take place on December 5, while the counting will take place on December 8. Meanwhile, the opposition Congress has declared its 43 candidates so far, while Aam Aadmi Party has announced tickets for over 118 seats.