Out of the four geographical segments of Gujarat, elections across 89 seats of the 19 districts in South Gujarat and Saurashtra Kutch have been conducted on December 1. On December 5, elections will be held for 93 seats in 14 districts in North Gujarat and Central Gujarat.
In 2007, North Gujarat gave BJP a whopping 25 seats out of 32. However, in 2017, the tally went down to 14, with Congress bagging 17. Independent Jignesh Mevani won the Vadgam seat with the support of Congress.
There are 16 seats in North Gujarat where the margin is relatively narrow. The BJP secured wins in Kankrej, Chansma, Kadi, Mehsana, Visnagar, Himatnagar and Vijapur with less than a margin of 9,000 votes. Congress’ winning margin on Kalol, Bayad, Vav, Gandhinagar North, Prantij, Dhanera, Modasa, Diyodar and Mansa was less than 7,000.
Dhanera, Deesa, Bayad and Kheralu seats will see BJP rebels contesting as independents. The polls in these constituencies will be interesting as BJP rebels Mavji Desai in Dhanera, Lebji Thakor in Deesa, and Ramsinh Thakor in Kheralu will enter the fray.
Ex-Congressman Dhavalsinh Zala, who joined the BJP, will also contest from Bayad as an independent candidate as he was denied a ticket by the BJP. BJP and Congress fielded candidates from the same community in Dhanera, while the sons of ex-MLAs have been fielded in Deesa.
BJP heavyweight and one of the most educated BJP leaders in Gujarat, Jaynarayan Vyas, has joined Congress and extended his support to the Congress candidate in Siddhpur, a constituency which he nurtured as BJP MLA.
Alpesh Thakor has shifted base to safer Gandhinagar South, an assembly segment in the Lok Sabha constituency of Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Thakor lost in the Radhanpur by-election after he joined BJP. He had won on a Congress ticket earlier. Senior Congress leader CJ Chavda changed his constituency from Gandhinagar North to Vijapur.