Gujarat result: BJP fends off challenge for Patidar vote from Hardik and Congress, shows Election Commission data
On results day, Election Commission data for the Gujarat election shows the BJP leading in several of the Patidar-dominated seats that saw violence and arson two years ago during protests for quotas.india Updated: Dec 18, 2017 15:27 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appeared to have staved off a challenge from the Congress and Patidar leader Hardik Patel in seats dominated by the influential community in Gujarat, trends from the Election Commission showed on Monday.
Figures from the poll panel at 12pm, four hours after counting began, showed that the BJP was leading in several of the Patidar-dominated seats that saw violence and arson two years ago during protests for quotas.
In Ahmedabad’s Ghatlodia, Nikol and Maninagar, the BJP was leading. The saffron party was also ahead in Sabarmati, Naroda and Naranpura, the seat vacated by BJP chief Amit Shah on becoming a member of the Rajya Sabha. BJP minister Kaushik Patel, considered close to Shah, is leading here.
In Maninagar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency, Sureshbhai Dhanjibhai of the BJP was holding off a challenge from the Congress.
In some other Patidar-dominated seats that the BJP previously held, the voting percentage dipped. In Kamrej, North Surat, Karanj, Katargam and Varacha, the turnout was low but the BJP was ahead.
The Patidars, who comprise 12% of the state’s population and hold sway over 60-odd seats, have been a traditional BJP votebank but were angry with the party over the denial of quotas in jobs and education. Hardik Patel, the head of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti, had backed the Congress.
In the tribal areas where the BJP pulled out all the stops to woo voters who were considered as a traditional Congress support base, the trends and leads were mixed. In constituencies such as Dang, Bhiloda, Jhaloda and Dahod, the Congress maintained a lead over the BJP. But the ruling party surged ahead in Danta that was held by the Congress, in Sankheda, and Chotte Udepur.
In the Other Backward Classes (OBC)-dominated constituency of Radhanpura, Congress leader Alpesh Thakor led. But In Patan and Chansama, which have over 50% OBC voters, the BJP maintained a lead over its rivals.