BJP's margin reduces in Guj, Cong bags 12 seats
BJP's planks of India shining, feel good factor and raking Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin issue to the hilt were all rendered futile in Gujarat where Congress snatched 12 of the 26 seats.
BJP's planks of "India shining", "feel good" factor and raking Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin issue to the hilt were all rendered futile in saffron stronghold of Gujarat where Congress snatched 12 of the 26 seats, lowering the saffron party's tally of 21 in the dissolved Lok Sabha to 14 and bringing to fore a strong undercurrent of anti-BJP sentiments brewing across the state.
Belying criticism that intense infighting could cost them heavily, Congress which had only five seats in the 13th Lok Sabha, gained seven more, including surprise wins in BJP's "political laboratory" Saurashtra where it won three seats --Jamnagar, Jungadh and Amreli.
Main opposition left behind the bitter memories of an ignominious drubbing in December 2002 assembly polls and returned with vengeance to stun saffron candidates in Mehsana, Anand, Mandvi Banaskantha, Chota Udepur and Valsad even as it failed to retain Surendranagar and Patan seats.
Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani along with three other Union Ministers retained their seats while Union Minister of State for Tourism Bhavnaben Chikalia lost the election from Junagadh.
BJP retained its Dahod (ST) seat when sitting MP Babu Katara sailed through by a very narrow margin of 361 votes against Congress first-timer Dr Prabhaben Taviad. Katara's lead apparently decreased as seven-time MP Somji Damor, who shifted loyalty to Bharatiya Navshakti party after being denied ticket, bagged 45,000 votes.