‘Advani impact hidden in Gandhinagar results’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Advani impact hidden in Gandhinagar results’

Declaring LK Advani as their prime ministerial candidate has worked for the BJP in Gandhinagar, say party leaders, which registered a four-lakh-plus victory margin on Sunday, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Dec 25, 2007 01:39 IST
Shekhar Iyer

Declaring LK Advani as their prime ministerial candidate has worked for the BJP in Gandhinagar, say party leaders, which registered a four-lakh-plus victory margin on Sunday.

The announcement on Monday appeared to be contesting earlier reports that Advani may change his constituency from Gandhinagar to a ‘safer’ one.

The 4.14 lakh vote margin is almost double that of Advani’s when he won the seat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.

Does that mean the veteran has a tall order of posting a similar margin or more if he were to contest from the same seat? Or does it mean it is so safe that he need not worry about his constituency and, instead, focus on ensuring victory of BJP candidates elsewhere?

Party leaders believe the margin went high not only because of the “Modi wave” that swept the state but also because of the “impact” of the announcement that Advani is the BJP prime ministerial candidate — on the eve of the first phase of voting in Gujarat on December 11.

“It means Advani’s anointment has given the desired result,” said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar. Asked if that meant Advani has to win the seat again (when the Lok Sabha polls are held) by four-lakh-plus votes, he said: “All it means now is that Gandhinagar has become more favourable for Advani and BJP.”

Advani won the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat for the fourth successive time in 2004 trouncing his nearest Congress rival Gabhaji Thakore by a margin of over 2.17 lakh votes. The winning margin was one of the highest in the 14th Lok Sabha polls in Gujarat. Advani had first won the seat in 1991.

Gandhinagar has seven assembly segments. In the state polls, Amit Shah — Modi’s right-hand man and home minister — won the Sarkhej segment by 2,36,000 votes.

Other BJP candidates who won are Rekesh Shah from Ellisbridge by 62,000 votes, Geeta Ben Patel from Sabarmati by 73,000 votes, Bharat Barot from Dariapur Kaijipur by 22,000 votes and Pradeep Sigh Jadeja from Asarwa by 18,000 votes. BJP nominee Shambhuji won in Gandhinagar, which the party had lost in 2002. The only defeat was of Kaushik Patel from Shahpur, who lost by 830 votes.