NEW DELHI: Shattering all previous records, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is all set to register a landslide win in the Gujarat Assembly polls where it is currently leading on 154 seats after initial hours of counting of votes on Thursday. The main opposition party – Congress – is witnessing a steep fall and is said to be leading only on 17 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was leading in 6 assembly constituencies. The BJP had set a target to break all previous records. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in each meeting was appealing to the voters to vote for the BJP and break all old records. Party`s big faces like Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Harsh Sanghvi, Jitu Vaghani, Rishikesh Patel, Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor were leading in their respective Assembly seats.
Victory in Gujarat will make the BJP the only party other than the CPI(M) to have won seven straight Assembly polls. The CPI(M), which ruled West Bengal for 34 years from 1977 to 2011, had also won seven straight elections.
Here’s what is happening in Ghatlodia, Vadgam, Khambhalia, Jamnagar North, Viramgram and Vaghodia
Ghatlodia: Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel is headed for a second straight win from the urban constituency of Ghatlodia, where he had taken a comfortable lead of almost 20,000 votes over his nearest rival after five rounds of vote counting. As per the latest update from the Election Commission, Patel had polled 23,713 votes, compared to 3,840 votes polled by his Congress rival Amiben Yagnik. AAP candidate Vijay Patel was running third with 2,168 votes.
Patidar-dominated Ghatlodia, which is part of the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, has given Gujarat two chief ministers – Bhupendra Patel and Anandiben Patel. It is a stronghold of BJP. In 2017, despite the Patidar quota agitation, Bhupendra Patel had won the seat with a huge margin of 1.17 lakh votes. The BJP has already announced that Patel will be given the top post again after this election. Ghatlodia, which has around 3.70 lakh voters, became a new assembly constituency following the delimitation exercise undertaken in 2012. Earlier, it was a part of Sarkhej constituency. In 2012, Anandiben Patel ? then chief minister of Gujarat — had won the seat with margin of more than 1.1 lakh.
Vadgam: Firebrand Dalit leader and Vadgam’s sitting MLA Jignesh Mevani of the Congress party is trailing his nearest rival from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, according to early trends showed. After four rounds of voting, Mevani had polled 15,455 votes, trailing BJP’s Manibhai Vaghela by 3,361 votes. If the trend persists, it would be a major setback to the Congress party as Mevani has emerged as one its most prominent leaders in the state after formally joining the party earlier this year.
Mevani had won Vadgam in 2017 as an independent candidate supported by the Congress party. His rival, Vaghela, is a turncoat who switched from Congress to BJP after he was denied ticket in 2017. He held the Vadgam seat from 2012 to 2017. Vadgam is a reserved seat for the scheduled castes (SCs), where Muslim voters play a decisive role. Muslim voters, estimated to be around 90,000, account for a third of Vadgam’s 2.94-lakh electorate. There are about 44,000 dalit voters and 15,000 Rajputs. The rest comprise mostly OBCs. The trends seen in early rounds could change when counting extends to votes cast in Muslim dominated areas, who were seen rallying for Mevani. Besides Vaghela, Mevani faced competition from candidates fielded by the Aam Aadmi Party and AIMIM of Assauddin Owaisi — Dalpat Bhatia and Kalpesh Sundhia respectively.
Khambhalia: Isudan Gadhvi, the Aam Aadmi Party’s CM face in Gujarat, has taken an early lead over Congress party’s sitting MLA from Khambhalia, Vikram Madam, while BJP’s Mulubhai Bera is at the third spot. After four rounds of voting in the assembly polls, Gadhvi had polled 13,658 votes, compared to 9,889 votes polled by the incumbent Madam. BJP’s Bera had picked up 5,703 votes, according to the latest update available from the Election Commission. Khambhalia emerged as one of the more high-profile seats in the Gujarat assembly elections after the AAP picked Isudan Gadhvi to this politically high-profile constituency in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat.
Formerly a popular television news anchor, Gadhvi chose to contest from Khambhalia where he was born and raised. But social equations of Ahir-dominated Khabhalia were not favourable to Gadhvi whose community is numerically not so significant. Both Madam of the Congress party and BJP’s Bera come from the numerically strong Ahir community. Madam previously also enjoyed the support of Muslims, who constitute the second largest voting bloc. This time around, they seem to have switched to the AAP.
For the last several decades, only a member of the Ahir community has won from here. If Gadhvi eventually wins Khambhalia, he would have set a new record. The BJP had won this seat in 2007 and 2012 but lost to the Congress in a bypoll in 2014. The opposition party retained the seat in 2017.
Jamnagar North: Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the Jamnagar North seat, Rivaba Jadeja who was earlier trailing at the third spot in the early hours of counting of votes, is now leading at the top spot but the final results.
According to the latest trends by the Election Commission till 10.30 am, Rivaba. who is contesting against AAP`s Ahir Karshanbhai Parbatbhai Karmur and Congress` Bipendrasinh Jadeja, is leading with 14,905 votes so far, garnering over 50 per cent votes. The AAP candidate is placed at the second spot with 7,235 votes so far and the Congress candidate has got 5,288 votes. According to the latest trends on 179 seats out of 182, the BJP is leading on 148. If the party manages to solidify the present numbers, it will be all set to break its own previous record of 127 in the 2002 Assembly elections.
Congress has managed to reach double digits but is far behind the BJP with 19 seats while AAP is struggling as it managed to reach single digit lead with 8 seats.The counting of votes for the Gujarat Assembly elections began on Thursday at 8 am.The counting in Gujarat began at 37 centres in 33 districts.
Viramgram: In the debut contest, Bharatiya Janata Party candidate and Patidar leader Hardik Patel has maintained a comfortable lead over Amarsinh Thakor of the Aam Aadmi Party in urban Viramgram assembly, according to early trends. After trailing for a while, Patel had taken the slender lead of 2,371 votes over Thakor at the end of four rounds of counting. The vote count in favour of Patel stood at 14,304 votes, compared to 11,933 votes for Thakor. The sitting MLA of Viramgram, who hails from the Congress party, was seen coming a distant third, with 3,921 votes in his bag. A native of Chandranagar village in Viramgam taluka, Hardik Patel was born and brought up in Viramgam town. He shot into prominence following the 2015 Patidar agitation for reservation in jobs, which he led. That agitation was widely credited for an impressive performance by the Congress party in 2017. Patel later joined the Congress party, but differences with the leadership of the party made him switch to BJP. Given the nature and caste composition of the Viramgam seat, it was never easy for 29-year-old Patel to get the voting arithmetic right.
Vaghodia: BJP rebel Dharmendrasinh Vaghela leading over party’s nominee Ashvin Patel in Vaghodia assembly seat.