Delimitation has queered the pitch for the ruling BJP in Gujarat, altering the demography and social structure of over 60 of the 182 assembly segments. Even senior ministers in the Narendra Modi government have been left hunting for safe seats.
Prominent among them is water resources and urban development minister Nitin Patel, whose seat — Kadi in Mehsana district — has been converted into a reserved constituency. Junior law minister Pradipsinh Jadeja from Ahmedabad’s Asarwa is in a similar predicament. Both Patel and Jadeja are looking to shift to Ahmedabad’s Naranpura and Thakkerbapa Nagar. But the resentment of local leaders is expected to add to complications during ticket distribution.
Junior fisheries minister Purushottam Solanki’s Ghogha seat has been dissolved to create a new seat, Bhavnagar (Rural). He is looking to shift to Talaja in Bhavnagar district.
The reserved Randhikpur seat of junior tribal development minister Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, has been merged with the neighbouring seats, leaving him to hunt for a new one.
Modi’s most trusted minister, Anandiben Patel, who is looking after the all-powerful revenue, road and building portfolios, is trying to shift to Ghatlodia in Ahmedabad. In the 2009 LS polls held following the redrawing of seats, the BJP had trailed in her seat Patan by 9,000 votes.
Junior minister for OBC welfare, Vasan Ahir, representing Bhuj in Kutch, would like to shift to Anjar, since following delimitation, Anjar has become dominated by the Ahir community.
Junior power, finance and industry minister Saurabh Patel’s seat Botad has been altered. The Patel-dominated villages have been merged with adjacent Gadhda seat, making his position very weak.
“The scenario has changed a lot after delimitation,” said a senior BJP leader. Besides ministers, more than two dozen sitting MLAs have been directly affected.