Congress is set to field all 43 of its Gujarat MLAs in the assembly elections, in what appears a step to repay the loyalty exhibited by these legislators in the face of two strong attempts by BJP and its "proxies" to lure them out of the party fold.
Sources said the party has decided to renominate the MLAs who stayed behind even as some resigned from the party and others who sided with dissident Shankarsinh Vaghela ahead of the Rajya Sabha elections in August.
Despite an exodus and strong bids to win over others, Congress veteran Ahmed Patel managed to score a narrow victory over BJP. "These are strong MLAs who did not bow to massive allurements," an office-bearer said.
It also appears a serious bid to convey to members that Congress would stand by functionaries who withstand poaching attempts by rivals. The party had been hit hard by defections of seniors ahead of the state polls in Assam and Uttarakhand that it lost.
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