Its top guns misfire, but Cong sends 23 first-time MLAs
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Even as senior Congress leaders Arjun Modhwadia, Siddharth Patel and Shaktisinh Gohil lost elections along with 15 other sitting party MLAs, 23 new faces have been elected on Congress tickets.
The new faces include Karamsibhai Virjibhai Patel from Sanand, a place that shot to fam e when Tata's Nano car plant was shifted here from Singur in West Bengal.
Another first-timer is Tejashreeben Dilipkumar Patel, elected from Viramgam, where the Maruti-Suzuki is setting up a manufacturing plant. While Karamsibhai won by a little over 4,000 votes, Tejashreeben won by 16,983 votes. Karamsibhai said people rejected BJP because the industrialisation was not helping the local people.
Of the four seats that the party won from Banaskantha district, three were bagged by first-timers. They are Kantibhai Kharadi from Danta, who won by 26,990 votes, Manibhai J Vaghela from Vadgam (S) who won by over 22,000 votes against BJP minister Fakirbhai Vaghela, and Maheshbhai Patel from Palanpur who won by 5,284 votes.
Rameshbhai Chavda, also a new face, defeated BJP's Hitu Kanodia, a noted Gujarati actor contesting polls for the first time, by a margin of 1,217 votes from Kadi (SC) seat. Hitu's father Naresh is the most famous Gujarati film actor and a former BJP legislator.
Another Congress first-timer Rajubhai Chavda defeated Minister of State for Home Praful Patel by 12,356 votes.
Other new faces who have won on Congress tickets are P I Patel (Vijapur), Rajendra Thakore (Modasa), Mahendrasinh Baraiya (Prantij), Kaminiben B Rathore (Dahegam), Chhanabhai K Chaudhary (Bansda-ST), Govindbhai Patel (Umbergaon-ST), Mangalbhai G Gavit (the Dangs-ST), Dharmendrasinh M Jadeja (Jamnagar North), Pravinbhai Rathod (Palitana, having famous Jain temple), Indranil Rajguru (Rajkot East), Bholabhai Gohil (Jasdan), Mitesh K Garasiya (Jhalod-ST), Amit Haribhai Chaudhary (Mansa), Poonambhai Parmar (Sojitra) Gendalbhai M Damor (Santrampur) and Savitaben Khant (Modva-Hadaf).