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Gujarat Assembly elections: 25 seats to watch out for

Gujarat Assembly elections: 25 seats to watch out for

Gujarat Assembly elections: 25 seats to watch out for
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By PTI Nov 3, 2022 5:09:54 PM IST (Published)

Following are the 25 seats to watch out for as Gujarat goes to the polls over two phases on December 1 and 5: 1. MANINAGAR: This urban constituency in Ahmedabad city has been a BJP bastion since the 1990s thanks to high concentration of urban Hindu voters. Narendra Modi won from Maninagar in 2002, 2007 and 2014 when he was Gujarat chief minister. The seat is currently held by BJP's Suresh Patel.

Gujarat will go to the polls over two phases on December 1 and 5. The result for the 182-member Assembly will be declared on December 8.

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Here are the 25 seats to watch out for:
1. MANINAGAR:
This urban constituency in Ahmedabad city has been a BJP bastion since the 1990s thanks to high concentration of urban Hindu voters. Narendra Modi won from Maninagar in 2002, 2007 and 2014 when he was Gujarat chief minister. The seat is currently held by BJP's Suresh Patel.
2. GHATLODIA: Another urban seat in Ahmedabad city. It has a sizable number of Patidar voters and has given the state two chief ministers- the current chief Bhupendra Patel and former CM Anandiben Patel. The BJP gave the ticket to Bhupendra Patel in 2017 after she quit active politics. He won with a margin of 1.17 lakh votes despite the anger among Patidar voters following the Hardik Patel-led quota agitation.
3. MORBI: The recent bridge collapse in which 135 people were killed has put the spotlight on this Patidar-dominated constituency. Thanks to the Patidar quota agitation, BJP's Kanti Amrutiya, a five-time MLA, lost to Congress's Brijesh Merja in 2017. Merja then switched sides and won on the BJP ticket in the 2020 bypoll. He is now a minister in the state cabinet. It will be interesting to see how people will vote after the tragedy.
4. RAJKOT WEST: Narendra Modi won from this seat in February 2002 after becoming chief minister for the first time in October 2001. BJP veteran Vajubhai Vala represented this seat for six terms between 1980 and 2007. He vacated it for Modi in 2002. The 2017 contest turned interesting after Indranil Rajguru, then Congress MLA from Rajkot-East, announced he would take on Vijay Rupani instead of contesting from his 'safe seat'. Rajguru lost and recently joined the Aam Aadmi Party.
5. GANDHINAGAR NORTH: Gandhinagar city, the capital of Gujarat, does not have any specific caste equation as most of its residents are state government employees and their family members. Gandhinagar North constituency was carved out in 2008. In 2012, BJP's Ashok Patel won with a thin margin of over 4,000 votes. In 2017, Congress leader CJ Chavda defeated Patel with nearly 4,700 votes.
6. AMRELI: Gujarat's first chief minister Jivraj Mehta was elected from Amreli in Saurashtra region in 1962. BJP candidates won from Amreli from 1985 to 2002. In a major upset, Congress's Paresh Dhanani snatched it from BJP in 2002. He was defeated in 2007 by BJP's Dileep Sanghani, but Dhanani wrested it back in 2012 and again won in 2017.
7. PORBANDAR: This constituency, dominated by Mer and Koli voters, has long witnessed rivalry between BJP's Babu Bokhiria and Congress's Arjun Modhwadia. In 2017, Bokhiria defeated Modhwadia, former leader of opposition and former state Congress chief, with a thin margin of 1,855 votes.
8. KUTIYANA: This is the only seat held by Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party in Gujarat. Kandhal Jadeja, son of alleged gangster late Santokben Jadeja, defeated the BJP in 2012 and 2017. He voted for BJP candidates during the Rajya Sabha polls and was later served a notice by the NCP leadership.
9. GONDAL: Famous for the political rivalry between the Patel and Rajput communities, the seat is currently held by BJP's Geetaben Jadeja, a Rajput and the wife of former MLA and local strongman Jayrajsinh Jadeja who is out on bail in a murder case.
10. MEHSANA: A Patidar-dominated seat and a BJP bastion since 1990. BJP leader and former deputy CM Nitin Patel won from here in 2012 and 2017. Mehsana city saw violent protests during the Patidar quota agitation. As a result, Patel's winning margin was just a little over 7,100 last time.
11. VARACHHA: A Patidar-dominated seat in Surat city. Saw violence during the Patidar quota agitation ahead of the 2017 polls. Former Gujarat minister Kishor Kanani won on the BJP ticket from here in 2012 and he managed to retain it in 2017.
12. JHAGADIA: Bharatiya Tribal Party founder Chhotu Vasava has been winning from this tribal-dominated seat since 1990. He recently severed ties with AAP. The other seat held by the party is Dediapada.
13. ANAND: Anand has a mix of Patel and OBC voters. Currently held by Congress's Kanti Sodha Parmar who lost to the BJP candidates in 2012 and in 2014 bypoll but emerged victorious in 2017.
14. PAVI JETPUR (ST): This reserved seat in Chhotaudepur district is held by Leader of Opposition Sukhram Rathva of the Congress.
15. JASDAN: Currently held by BJP's Kunvarji Bavalia, one of the tallest Koli leaders in the state. Bavalia was a five-time Congress MLA but switched sides after winning in 2017 on a Congress ticket.
16. DARIAPUR: A Muslim-dominated seat in Ahmedabad city that came into existence in 2012. Congress's Gyasuddin Shaikh has been winning since then. With AIMIM entering the fray, it will be a four-cornered battle between the BJP, Congress, AAP and AIMIM.
17. JAMALPUR-KHADIA: A Muslim-dominated seat in Ahmedabad formed in 2012 when the BJP won due to a division of Muslim votes between Congress and independent candidate Sabir Kabliwala, who is now AIMIM's Gujarat president. In 2017, Congress won the seat. This time, AIMIM is likely to field Kabliwala, a sign of trouble for the Congress.
18. CHHOTA UDAIPUR (ST): Congress veteran and 11-time MLA Mohansinh Rathva has been winning from here since 2012. Now Rathva has announced his retirement and is seeking a ticket for his son. Congress's Rajya Sabha MP Naran Rathva is also pitching for his son.
19. BHARUCH: A seat with a high concentration of Muslim voters. BJP has been winning from here since 1990.
20. GODHRA: Another seat with sizable Muslim population. Senior Congress leader CK Raulji won in 2007 and 2012 from here. He then switched to the BJP and won against the Congress in 2017 but with a wafer-thin margin of 258 votes.
21. BHAVNAGAR RURAL: BJP strongman and Koli leader Purshottam Solanki has been winning from here since 2012. He may be dropped this time due to deteriorating health.

22. VADGAM (SC): Young Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani won as an Independent from here in 2017 with Congress support.
23. UNJHA: Modi's hometown Vadnagar in Mehsana district falls under this constituency. Unjha is famous for Umiyadham, temple of Kadva-Patidar community's patron deity Maa Umiya. In a major upset in 2017, Congress's Asha Patel defeated BJP's Narayan Patel. She switched to the BJP and won the by-poll in 2019. The seat fell vacant in December 2021 after her death due to dengue.
24. RADHANPUR: OBC leader Alpesh Thakor won on a Congress ticket in 2017 but resigned in 2019 to join BJP. He lost to Congress's Raghu Desai in the bypoll. Local BJP leaders are reportedly opposed to his candidature.
25. LIMBAYAT: BJP's Sangita Patil has been winning from here since 2012. The seat falls under Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil's Navsari Lok Sabha constituency. It has a sizable Muslim population and Sangita Paatil demanded the imposition of Disturbed Areas Act in Limbayat to prevent ghettoization.
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