The BJP is set to retain all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, repeating its 2014 performance in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.While Modi did not contest election from the state this time, BJP chief Amit Shah won by a huge margin from Gandhinagar in his maiden Lok Sabha foray.
The BJP has won 10 seats so far, and it is leading by over 1.25 lakh votes in all the other 16 seats.Declaration of results is taking time as counting of VVPAT slips is going on, said a poll official. Shah won from Gandhinagar -- a seat earlier held by
BJP patriarch L K Advani -- by 5.57 lakh votes, defeating Congress rival C J Chavda. Shah polled 8.94 lakh votes while Chavda got 3.37 lakh votes.
The margin of victory of the BJP's Navsari candidate C R Patil -- 6.89 lakh -- remains the highest in all twenty-six seats so far. Patil had won the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Navsari by a margin of 5.58 lakh votes.
In Surat, the BJP's Darshana Jardosh won by 5.48 lakh votes, defeating Congress candidate Ashok Patel. In Jamnagar, BJP's Poonam Madam won by over 2.36 lakh votes defeating Congress candidate Mulu Kandoriya.
BJP's Mitesh Patel won from Anand, defeating Congress candidate and former Union minister Bharat Solanki by a margin of 1.97 lakh votes. In Bardoli, BJP's Parbhu Vasava defeated Congress candidate Tushar Chaudhary by 2.15 lakh votes.
BJP candidate from Chhota Udepur, Gitaben Rathva, won by a margin of 3.77 lakh votes, defeating Congress candidate Ranjitsinh Rathva. BJP's Mohan Kundariya won Rajkot seat by a margin of 3.68 lakh votes, defeating Congress' Lalit Kagathara.
In Vadodara, BJP candidate Ranjan Bhatt is leading by a margin of over 5.84 lakh votes against Congress' Prashant Patel. Notably, she has crossed prime minister Modi's victory margin of 5.70 lakh in 2014 elections from Vadodara.
BJP candidates are leading by over 3 lakh votes in Valsad, Panchmahal, Kheda, Kutch, Ahmedabad (East), Ahmedabad (West), Banaskantha, Bharuch and Bhavnagar. The lowest lead of a BJP candidate is in Dhahod, where a minister in Modi government, Jaswantsinh Bhabhor, is ahead by 1.26 lakh votes.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said the credit for this outcome went to the people of the state. "Political pundits could not see the Modi wave until the exit poll. Today this wave is clear from the leads and results received so far. It is the victory the people of the country. Their faith in Narendra Modi and his honest, decisive leadership are evident," he said.
"The people of the country have decided who can provide strong leadership. The BJP got a big victory due to Modi. Amit Shah showed how a party is organized and how it wins the election. His 'Chanakya niti' and leadership and inspiration to lakhs of party workers contributed to this victory," Rupani told reporters.
Congress accepted the defeat. "This is the verdict of the people of the country and we accept it. We will try to find out our faults and rectify them," state Congress president Amit Chavda said.
In 2014 the Congress had lost all the 26 seats in Gujarat. However, in the 2017 state assembly polls the party put up a tough fight, and BJP managed to retain power with a slender majority. BJP workers started frenzied celebrations across the state.Heeraba, the nonagenarian mother of prime minister Modi, briefly joined in the celebrations by greeting people who had gathered outside her house in Kudasan village on the outskirts of Gandhinagar.