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Gujarat election results: Congress turncoats fail to shine, BJP asks why

BJP gave tickets to Congress dissenters ahead of the elections which had caused consternation with some BJP leaders quitting the party in protest.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2017 23:56 IST
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad
Gujarat election results,Gujarat poll results,Congress
Congress and BJP supporters gather near counting centre at Ahmedabad on December 18.(Satish Bate/HT Photo)

A number of politicians who switched over from the Congress to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before the assembly polls fared badly as votes were counted on Monday.

Fourteen MLAs of the Congress walked out of the party during the August Rajya Sabha elections. Seven of them were given tickets by the BJP but only two won. Other dissenters from the Congress and smaller parties also fared badly.

In Thasra, long-time former Congress MLA Ramsinh Parmar lost to the Congress candidate Kantibhai Parmar by around 7,000 votes.

Parmar who is also the chairman of Amul Dairy and yields clout with the milk producers associations, has been contesting as a Congress candidate from Thasra since 1995, but switched sides to the BJP.

In Mahudha, Bharatsinh Parmar lost to Congress’ Indrajitsinh Parmar by around 13,000 votes.

In Jamnagar Rural, the Congress found reasons to cheer as Raghavji Patel who was disqualified from the party after he voted for the BJP in the fiercely contested Rajya Sabha elections lost to Veljibhai Dharaviya.

Patel who was the sitting MLA from the seat has changed allegiance several times in the past and was expected to help the BJP attract Patidar votes.

In Abdasa, Congress candidate Mahipatsinh Jadeja won, defeating the sitting MLA Narainbhai Patel who left the Congress to join the BJP.

In Jhagadiya, Ravjibhai Hari Vasava, a former confidante of tribal leader Chottu Bhai Vasava, had to face defeat. Ravjibhai had quit the Janata Dal (United) to join BJP.

He lost to Chhotubhai Vasava, who contested from the Bharatiya Tribal Party and retained his seat. Chottubhai’s vote during the Rajya Sabha election saw Congress’s Ahmed Patel emerge victorious in a tight election.

In Vikaramgarh too, BJP faced a defeat as Tejshreeben Patel who left the Congress to join the saffron party did not retain her seat. In Jamnagar North, another Congress-dissenter-turned-BJP-member

Dharmendrasinh Jadeja not only retained his seat but also improved his tally. He quit the Congress to join the BJP during the Rajya Sabha election and won by more than 40,000 votes, far higher than his previous record of 9,000.

CK Raulji who quit the Congress after the closely contested Rajya Sabha election, won the Godhra seat for the BJP with a slim margin.

The decision to give tickets to Congress dissenters had caused consternation with some BJP leaders quitting the party in protest.

But the party brass had maintained that the decisions were based on ground reports.

A senior BJP leader told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity that the decision was taken after BJP and RSS observers submitted a report on their performance.

”Some of the seats that the party had expected to win were those which have been long held by the Congress, even during the time when the state went to poll under the leadership of Narendra Modi who was a popular leader and the chief minister,” said a state functionary.

The BJP said it would carry out an assessment of the reports and the reasons for the losses

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 23:54 IST