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BJP sweeps Saurashtra, pockets 40 of 48 seats; Congress down to 3 from 28 it won in 2017

AHMEDABAD: A region wise analysis of the Gujarat assembly results shows that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept Saurashtra, winning 40 of 48 seats, regaining its hold over a region where the Congress held sway in 2017 polls, bagging as many as 28 seats.

The Congress party managed to win just 3 seats, a far cry from the 28 seats it won in the 2017 elections.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in its maiden Gujarat assembly elections, managed to bag 4 seats, one seat more than the Congress’ tally in the region.

Samajwadi Party candidate Kandhal Jadeja won from Kutiyana.

BJP polled 48.23 per cent votes in Saurashtra, Congress got 26 per cent and AAP secured 20 per cent.

In 2017 elections, Congress won 28 seats, while BJP bagged 19 seats and NCP got one seat.

The Congress secured more vote percentage than BJP in the 2017 elections at 45.37 per cent, while BJP then bagged 44.90 per cent of votes.

The region with a sizeable Patidar and Other Backward Class (OBC) population helped Congress limit the BJP to 99 seats in 2017 polls, the saffron party’s worst performance since 2002.

A look at BJP’s ticket allocation in the region shows that it banked on Congress’ turncoat MLAs and fresh faces to attract votes, observers said.

Of the 20 Congress MLAs who had defected to the BJP after winning the 2017 elections, half were from seats in Saurashtra.

Central Gujarat: The BJP swept central Gujarat by winning 56 out of the 61 seats in the region, while Congress managed to retain only four seats.

The AAP remained mostly a no-show and was placed on the second spot on eight of these seats.

The BJP lost Vaghodia seat where it faced rebellion from five-term MLA Madhu Shrivastav who contested as an independent. While Shrivastav came a distant fourth, another independent candidate Dharmendra Vaghela defeated BJP’s Ashvin Patel.

The ruling party got a boost from urban hubs of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Nadiad, Umreth and Matar and also from many rural seats, leaving the Congress with only five seats.

In 2017 polls, BJP won 37 seats in the region, while 22 went to the Congress.

North Gujarat: Of the total 32 seats of north Gujarat region, eight went to Congress, 22 to BJP and two seats went to independent candidates.

These seats include nine of Banaskantha, three of Sabarkantha, four of Arvalli, four of Patan, seven of Mehsana and five Assembly seats of Gandhinagar district.

In 2017, BJP won 14 seats and Congress 17 seats in north Gujarat.

In that election, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani, who contested as an independent with Congress’ support, won from Vadagam (SC) seat of Banaskatha district. This time he won from the same seat as a Congress candidate.

While the BJP improved its tally significantly this time, Congress’ tally has come down from 17 to 8.

South Gujarat: The BJP improved upon its 2017 tally in south Gujarat, winning 33 out of the 35 seats in the region. The Aam Aadmi Party followed, bagging the second spot in 12 seats.

Congress managed to win the Vansada reserved seat while AAP won Dediapada, also a reserved seat, in its debut fight.

Tribal leader and seven-time MLA Chhotu Vasava lost his Jhagadia seat to BJP’s Ritesh Vasava, while BJP clinched five reserved seats from Congress.

AAP failed to win in Surat, not winning any of the 16 seats there. BJP won all those seats.

Kutch: BJP made a clean sweep in Kutch region, winning all the six seats. The Congress, which carried out a silent campaign in rural areas, failed to retain the two seats it won in 2017 elections.

Aam Aadmi Party failed to win any seat but caused enough damage to the Congress, even leading to its defeat in stronghold Rapar.

Source: Press Trust of India

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