BJP sweep in urban areas helps party return to power
A clean sweep in urban areas and a strong performance in Saurashtra and the south contributed to the BJP’s victory in Gujarat, report Mahesh Langa and Abhijit Patnaik.india Updated: Dec 21, 2012 01:15 IST
A clean sweep in urban areas and a strong performance in Saurashtra and the south contributed to the BJP’s victory in Gujarat.
The party won 35 of the 40 seats in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara and Bhavnagar.
In Ahmedabad, it won 15 of the 17 city seats while sweeping all 12 city seats in Surat, five in Vadodara, three in Rajkot and two in Bhavnagar.
Even Muslim-dominated seats like Jamalpur, Vejalpur and Bapunagar in Ahmedabad and Surat East went to the BJP, which didn’t field even one Muslim candidate.
“It’s an impressive performance. Even we were not very sure of seats like Jamalpur or Surat East,” BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani said.
An analysis shows that despite Keshubhai Patel, the BJP won 35 of 54 seats in Saurashtra.
“The Congress has won Leuva Patel-dominated seats in Rajkot and Amreli, but other communities have consolidated behind the BJP in Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Surendranagar and Kutch,” Porbandar MP Vithal Radadia said.
Interestingly, the triangular contest in Saurashtra involving the BJP, Congress and GPP led to splitting of votes, benefiting the BJP. “In as many as 10 seats in Saurashtra, the GPP damaged Congress prospects,” a Congress MLA said.
In the south, the BJP won 28 of 35 seats, sweeping Surat, Bharuch and Narmada districts. The Congress lost even minority-dominated Jambusar and Vagra. In central Gujarat, except in Vadodara district, the BJP had mixed results.
The BJP performed badly in the north where three ministers — Jaynarayan Vyas, Fakirbhai Vaghela and Praful Patel — lost. The Congress swept Sabarkantha, winning six of the seven seats and Banaskantha where it won five of the nine seats.