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Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, December 22, 2012
Internal sabotage and squabbling has emerged as one of the major factors behind the Congress party's poor show in the Gujarat assembly polls.

The party could have done substantially better had its leaders worked for the party's interests. For example, in Ahmedabad city, the Congress lost the Jamalpur and Bapunagar seats by slender margins because the local leaders worked against the candidates, party insiders admitted.

In the case of Jamalpur, the sitting MLA was denied a ticket so he contested as an Independent and received more than 30,000 votes, benefiting the BJP, which won the minority-dominated seat.

In Bapunagar, former Ahmedabad mayor Himatsinh Patel who was denied a Congress ticket, worked against the party by lending his support to the BJP, whose candidate finally won.

"We have lost 8-10 seats due to internal sabotage caused by some sulking leaders," a Congress leader said, adding that some aspirants who were denied tickets ensured that candidates chosen by the party lost.

In Jamnagar also, Congress MP Vikram Madam didn't let the party field his niece Poonam Madam for the Khambhalia seat.

So, she managed to get the BJP ticket at the last moment and won the seat with a whopping margin of 38,000 votes.

"In Jamnagar, we could have won five out of seven seats but the local MP prevailed over the selection of candidates and those recommended by him lost three seats," a party MLA said.

The Congress won only two seats from the district: Jamnagar Rural and Jamnagar North.