Gujarat poll analysis: Keshubhai Patel's GPP dented BJP prospects

Keshubhai Patel

In Rajkot East, Congress candidate Indranil Rajyaguru won by 4,000 votes as GPP's Pravin Ambaliya polled 20,000 votes, mostly of Leuva Patels, a politically powerful community in Saurashtra. The division of votes led to the defeat of BJP nominee Kashyap Shukla.

This was the case in at least six to eight segments due to which BJP's tally came down in Saurashtra.

North Gujarat, from where Modi hails, also witnessed a slip in performance by BJP. In 2007, it had got 25 seats out of a total of 32, but this year the figure went down to 16.

Congress, which had got seven seats in 2007, improved its tally to 16 this time.

BJP's less than encouraging show in north Gujarat has surprised poll watchers as the Modi Government had claimed to have carried out maximum development work in the region and the BJP stalwart had based his campaign around the theme of development. Modi's hometown Vadnagar falls in north Gujarat's Mehasana district.

However, south and central regions of the state came to the rescue of BJP and ensured the party retained its hold on Gujarat, where it is in power since 1995.

In south Gujarat, BJP won 28 seats this time as compared to 19 in 2007, a gain of nine. Congress slipped from 14 to six in 2012 in the region which has 35 seats.

Similarly, in central Gujarat, including the Ahmedabad city, BJP improved its tally from 30 to 36 largely due to increase in number of seats in the area, from 57 in 2007 to 61 now, after delimitation.

Congress cornered 23 seats, just one less than its 2007 tally. Others pocketed two seats this time as compared to three in 2007.

Incidentally, BJP lost elections in Sanand, the site of Tata Motors Nano car plant, and Viramgam, where Maruti Suzuki proposes to set up its manufacturing facility, to Congress.

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