Gujarat 2017

Voting pattern in north Gujarat and Saurashtra - 2012 and now

BJP workers celebrate after the trends show that BJP will retain the power in Gujarat and return to power in Himachal Pradesh.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

In this election, North Gujarat and Saurashtra have been considered as Congress' strongholds and for good reason - the party has focused quite a lot of their campaign in these regions. Party president Rahul Gandhi had, in fact, started off his election with a visit to the famous Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar - a move that was criticised by the BJP who attributed his visit to a Hindu temple as a bid to win votes.

Saurashtra - then BJP, now who?

The Patel-dominated Saurashtra region in Gujarat is said to be the ruling-BJP's weak link in the plan to win in 2017. The region had voted in the first phase of the election and sends 48 legislators to the 182-member assembly. The region has waded through rough water in 2012 when BJP leader and former CM Keshubhai Patel split from the party and floated his own Gujarat Parivarthan Party (GPP).

 

In the past year too, the region had been troubled with the Patidar agitations and the Dalit uprising in Una. With a mini-revolt brewing there against the BJP, the Congress had targeted Saurashtra and Kutch as it's key playing field - the two regions account for 54 of the 182 seats in the State Assembly.

In 2012, BJP had dominated in Saurashtra-Kutch region - it had won 35 of the 54 seats. However, in 2017, Congress has won/is leading in 30 seats in the Saurashtra-Kutch region while BJP has won/is leading in 23 seats.

Congress leads in North Gujarat

Of the 32 constituencies in North Gujarat region, BJP is leading in 15 seats. Considered as a Congress stronghold, the party is leading in 17 seats including the one in Vadgam where it is silently supporting Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani. As of now, it looks like Congress has managed to chip into BJP's vote share in Radhanpur and Patan in Sabarkantha district and is leading in these seats which were won by BJP in the 2012 elections.

 

Congress has also managed to maintain their majority in Aravalli district where it is leading in all the three constituencies as they had in 2012. It is also leading in Gandhinagar Uttar, Vav, Unjha, Becharaji and, by a narrow margin, in Deodar.

In Mehsana district, comprising of PM's hometown Vadnagar, BJP is leading in four of the seven seats. In the 2012 elections, BJP had won five of these. In recent times, Mehsana is referred to as the starting point of the Patidar agitation led by Hardik Patel. Apart from the politically-dominant Patidars, Mehsana district, that has a population of over two million, also has Kshatriyas, Muslims and Dalits.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 9:07:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/gujarat-2017/voting-pattern-in-north-gujarat-and-saurashtra-2012-and-now/article21832129.ece

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