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Gujarat verdict: Hardik Patel’s strike rate was 15/32. But his magic worked mainly in Saurashtra

Aditya Menon | Updated on: 18 December 2017, 21:40 IST
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Perhaps no seat captures the Patidar effect in the Gujarat Assembly elections as Unjha in Mehsana district. This is a seat which includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthplace Vadnagar. He claims to have sold tea at the railway station in Vadnagar as a young boy. Congress had last won this seat in 1972 when Indira Gandhi was at her peak.

It has now staged a comeback here, with its candidate Asha Patel defeating her BJP rival Narayanbhai Patel by 19500 votes. Narayanbhai Patel has been winning this seat continuously since 1995 and his lowest margin has been around 19000. Therefore the present result is a complete turnaround in this seat. It is clear that Patels - mostly Kadva Patels - who form over 40% of the population in the seat, have returned to the Congress after a gap of over four decades. This is entirely to the credit of the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) and its leader Hardik Patel.

The Congress has gained at least 8 Patidar dominated seats because of PAAS. Out of 32 Patidar dominated seats, BJP won 16, Congress won 15 and an Independent candidate won in Lunawada. In the outgoing Assembly, Congress merely had 7 of these 32 seats.

However, this success varies across regions. While the alliance seems to have worked very well in Saurashtra, where the vote share gap between BJP and Congress was lower, it hasn’t helped the party in Leuva Patidar dominated Surat city. This is largely because of the fact that the BJP’s margin in these seats was so high that even a significant shift to the Congress didn’t lead to a change in seats. Here’s how the Congress performed in various Patidar dominated seats across different regions.

Saurashtra

Gondal
District: Rajkot
Patidar population: 50%
Result: BJP’s Geetaba Jayrajsinh Jadeja wins by 15,397 votes.
In 2012, Geetaba Jadeja’s husband Jayrajsinh Jadeja had won the seat, defeating GPP leader Gordhan Zadafiya. This time the Congress played the Patidar card but didn’t succeed. This seat also witnessed a huge fall in turnout of around 11%. It was a major centre of the Patidar agitation. The Congress’ defeat here would be a disappointment for Hardik Patel.


Dhoraji
District: Rajkot
Patidar population: 44%
Result: Congress’ Lalit Vasoya won by 25,085 votes.
Vasoya was PAAS’ Saurashtra convenor. Dhoraji is the bastion of Leuva Patel strongman Vitthal Radadiya, but his shift to BJP had destroyed the Congress here. PAAS’ entry gave Congress a huge lease of life. Like Gondal, this seat too saw a huge fall in turnout of 7.5%

 

Kalavad (SC)
District: Jamnagar
Patidar population: 22% Leuva Patel
Result: Pravinbhai Musadiya of Congress won by 32951 votes
Like Unjha, the Congress last won Kalavad in 1972. Patidars moved away from the Congress in the 1970s and they have returned only now, courtesy PAAS, helping the Congress win this seat with a huge margin. Like Gondal and Dhoraji, the turnout here had fallen by 7% compared to 2012.

Jamjodhpur
District: Jamnagar
Patidar population: 27%
Result: Chiraghbhai Kalariya of Congress won by 2518 votes
Senior BJP leader Chiman Sapariya has been defeated in the seat. Like many parts of Saurashtra, the anger of cotton farmers has played a key part in defeating the BJP in Jamjodhpur. Even here the turnout fell significantly, by 9.3%.


Lathi
District: Amreli
Patidar population: 27% (22% Leuva Patel)
Result: Virajbhai Thummar of Congress wins by 9343 votes.
In 2012, Bavkubhai Undhad of the Congress had won this seat but he defected to the BJP. Congress managed to wrest the seat back by fielding former Amreli MP Virajbhai Thummar.

Manavadar
District: Junagadh
Patidar population: 32%
Result: Sitting MLA Jawaharbhai Chavda of Congress won by 29763 votes


Amreli
District: Amreli
Patidar population: 21% Leuva Patel
Result: Paresh Dhanani of Congress won by 12,029 votes
Amreli witnessed a fall in turout of 6%. Sitting MLA and Congress Patidar face Paresh Dhanani retained his seat. He is the front runner for the Leader of Opposition post.

Dhari
District: Amreli
Patidar population: 31% (24% Leuva Patel)
Result: JV Kakadiya of Congress won by 15,336 votes
GPP won this seat last time. This time, Congress with PAAS help, has managed to defeat a prominent BJP Patidar leader Dilip Sanghani. Dhari witnessed a 7% fall in turnout from 2012.

Savarkundla
District: Amreli
Patidar population: 26%
Result: Pratap Dudhat of Congress wins by 8531 votes.
Savarkundlya witnessed a 5.6% fall in turnout.

Botad
District: Botad
Patidar population: 21%
Result: BJP’s Saurabh Patel (Dalal) won by 906 votes.

Dhrangadhra
District: Surendranagar
Patidar population:25%
Result: Parshotam Sabariya of Congress won by 13916 votes

Jetpur
District: Rajkot
Patidar population: 33% Leuva Patel voters
Result: Jayesh Radadiya of BJP won by 25581 votes
In 2013, Vithal Radadiya’s son Jayesh won the bypoll from this seat on a BJP ticket with a huge margin of almost 53,000 votes. The area witnessed intense protests during the Patidar agitation. Congress had fielded Khodaldham trustee Ravibhai Ambaliya.

Tankara
District: Morbi
Patidar population: 36% Kadwa voters
Result: Lalitbhai Kagathara of Congress won by 29,770 votes.
This is a big victory for Congress and PAAS. BJP’s Mohan Kundariya, a Kadwa Patel, has been winning this seat since 1995. In 2014, he became an MP and is presently MoS Agriculture in the Union government. Congress has won this seat only twice in 50 years - 1967 and 1985.

Morbi
Distirct: Morbi district
Patidar population: 25% Kadva Patel
Result: Brijesh Merja of Congress won by 3419 votes
BJP hadn’t lost the seat since 1990. It was the hub of the anti-reservation protests of 1980s and the 2015 Patidar protests as well. There was tremendous anger against sitting BJP MLA Kanti Amrutiya, a Kadva Patel. He is a murder accused and was a special target of Hardik Patel during the campaign.

Keshod
District: Junagadh
Patidar population: 29%
Result: Punjabhai Malam of BJP won by 10806 votes

Visavadar
District: Junagadh
Patidar population: 48%
Harshadkumar Ribadiya of Congress won by 231010 votes
Keshubhai Patel won this seat in 2012 but Congress managed to wrest it from BJP in a bypoll. Sitting MLA HarshadKumar Ribadiya has retained this Patidar bastion.

Total: BJP 4, Congress 12

South Gujarat

Kamrej
District: Surat
Patidar population: 51% Leuva Patel
Result: VD Zalavadiya of BJP won by 28,191 votesCongress would be disappointed with its performance in Kamrej, one of the diamond-polishing hubs in Surat, along with Karaj and Varaccha Road. The margin of victory, however, has come down by over 50% from 64,000 in 2012.

Katargam
District: Surat
Patidar population: 40%
Result: Vinodbhai Movadiya of BJP won by 79230 votes

Varachha Road
District: Surat
Patidar population: 37% Leuva Patel
Result: Kishore Kanani of BJP won by 13,998 votes.

Karanj
District: Surat
29% Leuva Patel
Result: Pravinbhai Ghoghari of BJP won by 35,598 votes
Here too, the BJP’s victory margin reduced from 49,000 in 2012.

Surat North
District Surat
Patidar population: 32% Leuva Patel
Result: Kantibhai Balar of BJP won by 20022 votes.

Surat West
District: Surat
Patidar population: 29% Leuva Patel
Result: Purnesh Modi of BJP won by 77882 votes

Total: BJP 6, Congress 0

North Gujarat

Unjha
District: Mahesana
Patidar population: 42% Kadwa Patel
Result: Usha Patel of Congress won by 19529 votes

Vijapur
District: Mahesana
Patidar population: 31% Kadva Patel
Result: Ramanbhai Patel of BJP won by 1164 votes
Congress would be disappointed with its performance as it had won the seat in 2012. The seat also has a substantial Thakor population. But Congress doesn’t seem to have succeeded in getting a majority of votes in both communities.

Visnagar
District: Mahesana
Patidar population: 29% Kadva Patel
Result: Rushikesh Patel of BJP won by 2869 votes.
Congress hasn’t won this seat since 1967. Since 1995, it has been electing a BJP MLA. But Hardik Patel would be disappointed with the Congress’ defeat here as this was a major centre of his agitation. Patidar protestors allegedly attacked MLA Rushikesh Patel’s office in 2015 and Hardik Patel is one of the accused in the case.

Becharaji
District: Mahesana
Patidar population: 25% Kadva Patel
Result: Bharatji Thakor of the Congress won by 15811 votes.
Here Congress’ Patidar-Thakor combination worked better than in other seats. This is the only general constituency in Mehsana district where the party fielded a Thakor.

Mahesana
District: Mahesana
Patidar population: 25% Kadwa Patel
Result: Nitin Patel of BJP won by 7137 votes.
Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel managed to just about scrape through in a seat which he won by nearly 25000 votes last time.

Mansa
District: Gandhinagar
24% Kadva Patel
Result: Suresh Patel of Congress won by 524 votes
Mansa is said to be the native place of BJP president Amit Shah. The party has won the seat from 1995 to 2007. But in 2012, Congress won by 8000 votes.

Kadi
District: Mehsana
Patidar population: 23% Kadva Patel
Result: Karshanbhai Solanki of BJP won by 7746 votes
The Congress won the seat in 2002 and 2012. It has a significant number of Patels as well as Thakors. It lost the seat this time

Himatnagar
District: Sabarkantha
Patidar population: 20% Kadva Patel
Result: Rajendrasinh Chavda won by 1712 votes.
Chavda, a Congress defector to BJP, has won the seat which has a significant number of Thakor voters as well.

Total: BJP 5, Congress 3

Central Gujarat

Dabhoi
District: Vadodara
Patidar population: 23% Leuva Patel
Result: BJP’s Shailesh Sotta won by 2839 votes
Senior Patidar leader of the Congress, Siddharth Patel, son for former CM Chimanbhai Patel, lost the seat for the second time in a row.

Lunawada
District: Mahisagar
Patidar population: 20% Leuva Patel
Result: Independent candidate Magansinh Rathod won by 3200 votes. Congress stood third.
Congress dropped its sitting MLA Hirabhai Patel and gave a ticket to Paranjaditya Singh Parmar, son-in-law of Digvijaya Singh in this seat where even Kshatriyas are also present in significant numbers.

Total: BJP 2, Congress 0

First published: 18 December 2017, 21:40 IST
 
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