The Nationalist Congress Party on Saturday said that it will contest the upcoming Gujarat Assembly elections in alliance with the Congress, PTI reported. The polls will be held in two phases – on December 9 and December 14. The results will be declared on December 18.

The party’s General Secretary Tariq Anwar (pictured above) said that the people of Gujarat are “feeling disenchanted” with the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state after 22 years, and the result of the elections will show that they want a change. It will also show the people’s feelings towards the central government’s performance, Anwar said.

Anwar also alleged that the Centre influenced the Election Commission to declare the poll dates for Gujarat separately instead of along with that of Himachal Pradesh, so that Prime Minister Narendra Modi could make announcements there before the model code of conduct could come into effect.

Congress gets new deadline

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti gave the Congress a 24-hour deadline to declare its stand on the reservation status for the community, according to NDTV.

Four leaders of the Hardik Patel’s group were in New Delhi on Friday to talk with senior Congress leaders. One of them, Dinesh Bambhania, said that they were kept waiting the entire day for the meeting, where they were supposed to talk about quotas for the community.

“Now we have given a 24-hour ultimatum to the Congress. If you don’t accept [our] demand, then we will assume that you don’t need [our] support in the next election,” Bambhania said. The deadline ends Saturday midnight.

The statement comes just days after Hardik Patel said that he was satisfied with the three options provided by the Congress on how the party would grant reservation to Patels if voted to power. The Congress had come up with these options after Patel had told it that he would support the party in the upcoming elections only if the party committed to giving the community reservations.