iconimg Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, December 22, 2012
True, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has scored a hat-trick, winning 115 seats, but his performance in his native north Gujarat has been quite poor.

In the five districts in the region, the Congress has improved its tally from 7 to 17 of the 32 seats. "Three senior ministers -- Jaynarayan Vyas (health & tourism), Fakirbhai Vaghela (social justice and empowerment) and Praful Patel (MoS home) have lost from north Gujarat," said a BJP leader who lost this election.

"We lost considerable ground in northern region but thanks to the impressive show in the southern districts and urban areas, it did not affect our overall result," he added, saying, "Shankersinh Vaghela played a key role in the Congress sweep in the region."

The drubbing of the Congress buried its impressive performance in the region where it won 11 out of the 16 seats in two districts: Banaskantha and Sabarkantha.

"Vaghela had a larger role in the selection of candidates in districts in the north and central parts and so he had fielded OBC Thakor candidates, which has paid the dividend," a Congress MLA and Vaghela confidant said, adding, "A few more seats would have come to the Congress if Vaghela's advice was not ignored by the party."

With the defeat of senior state Congress leaders like Arjun Modhvadia and Shaktisinh Gohil, Vaghela is set to be the captain of the party in Gujarat.