Gujarat poll analysis: Keshubhai Patel's GPP dented BJP prospects
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Ruling BJP's march towards a two-third majority was halted by the presence of Keshubhai Patel's party in Saurashtra and the saffron outfit suffered reverses in Chief Minister Narendra Modi's own backyard of north Gujarat.
However, BJP's gain in the central and south Gujarat regions, to a large extent, trimmed the losses.
BJP's seat tally by and large remained the same this time though its vote percentage reduced by about 1 per cent, while that of the Congress increased by the same proportion.
BJP bagged 115 seats this time, two less than the 2007 figure, but failed to touch the two-third majority mark of 122 in the 182-member Assembly. Its main rival Congress won two more seats to finish at 61.
Congress vote share rose from 38 per cent in 2007 to 39 per cent, but it translated into a gain of just two seats.
The ruling party's vote share reduced from 49 per cent last time to 48 per cent in 2012.
Gujarat had witnessed a record turnout of 71.30 per cent in the two-phased polling held on December 13 and 17. The voter turnout was 59 per cent in 2007.
Though Keshubhai-led Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) performed poorly, getting just two seats, it managed to upset BJP's applecart in a number of seats in Saurashtra, resulting in a modest performance by Modi's party in a region which is considered a stronghold of the former CM and BJP rebel.
In Saurashtra and Kutch, which accounted for 58 seats in 2007, BJP had won 43, Congress 14 and one went to Sharad Pawar-led NCP. In 2012, BJP managed to get just 35 seats followed by Congress (16), GPP (2) and NCP (1), among others. Post delimitation the number of seats in the two regions had come down to 56.
The loss to BJP in Saurashtra and Kutch can be largely attributed to the presence of GPP candidates, who cut into the votes of the ruling party in key seats.