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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Apr 2014
GPP hit Cong, BJP fortunes
Abhijit Patnaik and Mahesh Langa, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, December 22, 2012
First Published: 00:17 IST(22/12/2012)
Last Updated: 02:38 IST(22/12/2012)

Had the BJP cadre worked a little harder, the party could have notched up 16 more seats it lost by narrow margins, a closer scrutiny of the numbers show.

The results show that as many as 23 candidates won by a margin of 3,000 or less votes. Of these, the Congress won 16, BJP 6 and the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) one.

A key factor behind the contest getting so close in some places is the entry of the GPP that made the contests triangular and in some cases ate into anti-incumbency votes.

"We have lost many seats due to over-confidence and lapses in booth management," BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani said.

"For example, the BJP lost Kalol in Gandhinagar, Sojitra in Anand and Kankrej in Banaskantha by less than 1,000 votes." http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/12/22-12-12-pg-10b.jpg

Similarly, the Congress won three tribal seats -- Chhota Udepur and Sankheda in Vadodara district and Dangs with less than 2,500 votes.

However, Congress leaders contend that their candidates won from such seats despite triangular contests and the BJP's formidable base.

"In Talala and Somnath, the Congress candidates' margins were 1,478 and 2096 votes, respectively, because the GPP candidate in Talala and an Independent in Somnath got considerable votes, splitting opposition votes against the BJP candidates," said Congress MLA from Somnath Jasabhai Barad.

The BJP took away the Savarkundla seat in Saurashtra because sitting MLA Kalu Virani who was dropped by it contested independently and walked away with 14,517 votes, which helped the BJP win the seat with 2,384 votes in the triangular contest.

"We would have easily won from Savarkundla in a two-way contest but independent candidates marred our prospects," former Congress MP from Amreli Virji Thummar said.

In Jamnagar South too, the BJP rebel and GPP candidate got 5,747 votes, which led to the victory of sitting MLA and minister Vasu Trivedi.


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