The polling for 93 seats in the second phase of the Assembly election in Gujarat, a BJP bastion since 1995, shall take place on Monday, December 5. These constituencies including Ghatlodia, Vadgam, Viramgam, Godhra and Ellisbridge are spread across 14 districts of the state.
Here are five key contests:
Ghatlodia: Bhupendra Patel (BJP) vs Amee Yagnik (Congress)
Gujarat CM Bhupendra Patel is seeking re-election from this seat which he won in the previous election by a whopping margin of 1,17,750 votes. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has publicly declared that Patel will continue to remain at the helm of affairs after the election. The first-time MLA is up against Congress’ Amee Yajnik who was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2018.
Vadgam: Jignesh Mevani (Congress) vs Manilal Vaghela (BJP)
While this seat is currently being held by Jignesh Mevani, BJP has fielded ex-Congress leader Manilal Vaghela. While Vaghela defeated his BJP rival by 21,839 votes in the 2012 election, Congress chose to repose faith in Mevani who was contesting as an Independent in the last polls.
Viramgam: Hardik Patel (BJP) vs Lakhabhai Bharwad (Congress)
Known for spearheading the Patidar quota agitation, Patel—a former Congress leader—resigned from the party’s primary membership on May 18 and joined BJP in June. He is making his poll debut from Viramgam. On the other hand, Congress has given the ticket to Lakhabhai Bharwad who trounced BJP’s Tejashree Patel by a narrow margin of 6,548 votes in the 2017 Assembly election.
Gandhinagar South: Alpesh Thakor (BJP) vs Himanshu Patel (Congress)
Gandhinagar South is perceived as another prestigious seat for BJP as it has fielded Alpesh Thakor, one of the key leaders responsible for Congress’ commendable performance in the 2017 election, when he had won from Radhanpur. While he switched allegiance to BJP in 2019, he could not retain his seat in the subsequent by-election. Congress has fielded Himanshu Patel to take on Thakor in this seat which is seen as a BJP bastion.
Godhra: CK Raulji (BJP) vs Rashmitaben Chauhan (Congress)
Former Congress-turned-BJP leader CK Raulji is seeking his fourth consecutive win from Godhra. Raulji managed to retain this seat last time as a BJP candidate by merely 258 votes. Meanwhile, Congress has fielded Rashmitaben Chauhan.
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