This urban assembly seat in Ahmedabad district has been a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since the 1990s. There is a majority of Hindu voters here. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi won from this seat in 2002, 2007 and 2017 elections.
Voting for the Gujarat Assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will take place on December 8. For the total 182-member assembly of this western state, 89 seats will be polled in the first phase and 93 seats in the second phase. In this election, the following 25 major seats will be specially watched by the people.
1. Maninagar: This urban assembly seat in Ahmedabad district has been a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since the 1990s. There is a majority of Hindu voters here. As Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi won from this seat in 2002, 2007 and 2017 elections. BJP’s Suresh Patel is currently the MLA from this seat.
2. Ghatlodia: This is another urban seat of Ahmedabad. This seat has a large number of Patidar voters and this seat has given two Chief Ministers to the state. They are Anandiben Patel and Bhupendra Patel. After Anandiben Patel withdrew from active politics, the BJP fielded Bhupendra Patel as its candidate from the seat in 2017. He won the seat by a margin of 1.17 lakh votes even when the Patidar movement was at its peak under the leadership of Hardik Patel and there was great resentment among the Patidar youth.
3. Morbi: This Patidar-majority constituency is in the news due to the recent bridge collapse that killed 135 people. Last time, five-time BJP MLA Kanti Amritiya had to face a defeat at the hands of Congress’s Brijesh Merja here due to the Patidar reservation movement. Merja left the Congress and joined the BJP in the year 2020. He won in the subsequent by-election. He is a minister of state in the present government. It will be interesting to see what stand the voters of Morbi take in the elections this time.
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4. Rajkot East: After becoming Chief Minister for the first time in October 2001, Narendra Modi won this seat in February 2002. Veteran BJP leader Vajubhai Vala represented the seat six times between 1980 and 2007. He vacated it for Modi in 2002. The 2017 election race became interesting as the then Congress MLA from Rajkot-East, Indranil Rajguru, announced that he would take on Vijay Rupani instead of contesting from his “safe seat”. However, Rajguru lost the election. Recently he joined Aam Aadmi Party.
5. Gandhinagar Answer: The city of Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, does not have a specific caste equation as most of its residents are state government employees and their family members. Gandhinagar North Constituency came into existence in 2008. In 2012, BJP’s Ashok Patel won by over 4,000 votes. In 2017, Congress leader CJ Chawda defeated Patel by a margin of 4,700 votes.
6. Amreli: The first Chief Minister of Gujarat, Jivraj Mehta, was elected from Amreli of Saurashtra in 1962 and reached the Legislative Assembly. BJP candidates were successful in the assembly elections held from 1985 to 2002. In the year 2002, Paresh Dhanani of Congress wrested this seat from BJP. He was defeated by BJP’s Dilip Sanghani in 2007. But Dhanani took revenge and won the seat back in 2012. He was re-elected from here in the year 2017.
7. Porbandar: Dominated by Mer and Koli voters, this constituency has been witnessing a long-standing battle between BJP’s Babu Bokhiria and Congress’s Arjun Modhwadia. In 2017, Bokhiria defeated former leader of opposition and former state Congress president Modhwadia by a narrow margin of 1,855 votes.
8. Kutiana: This is the only seat in Gujarat which is held by the Nationalist Congress Party led by former Union Minister Sharad Pawar. Kandhal Jadeja, son of alleged gangster late Santokben Jadeja, defeated the BJP from here in 2012 and 2017. He voted for BJP candidates during the Rajya Sabha elections and was later given a notice by the NCP leadership.
9. Gondal: This seat famous for political rivalry between Patel and Rajput communities is currently held by the BJP. BJP’s Gitaben Jadeja won from here in the last election. She is a Rajput and the wife of former MLA and local Baahubali Jayaraj Singh Jadeja, who is out on bail in a murder case.
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10. Mehsana: This is a Patidar dominated seat. It has been a BJP stronghold since 1990. BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Nitin Patel won from here in 2012 and 2017. Violent protests took place during the Patidar reservation movement in Mehsana city. As a result, Patel’s margin of victory was slightly more than 7,100 last time around.
11. Varachha: It is a Patidar dominated seat of Surat district. Violence was also seen here during the Patidar reservation movement before the last elections. Former Gujarat minister Kishore Kanani won from here on a BJP ticket in 2012 and managed to retain it in 2017.
12: Juknia: Bharatiya Tribal Party founder Chhotu Basava has been winning this tribal seat continuously since 1990. Recently he severed ties with the Aam Aadmi Party. This party is also dominant in Dediapara seat.
13. Anand: Anand has a mixed population of Patel and Other Backward Class (OBC) voters. This seat is currently held by the Congress. Kanti Sodha Parmar won from here in the last election. He faced defeat at the hands of BJP candidates in 2012 assembly elections and 2014 by-elections. However, he won in 2017.
14. Pavi Jetpur Scheduled (Tribe): This reserved seat in Chhota Udepur district is currently held by Leader of Opposition Sukhram Rathwa. He won the 2017 assembly elections from here on a Congress ticket.
15. Jasdan: This seat is currently held by BJP’s Kunwarji Bavaliya, one of the tallest Koli leaders in the state. Bavaliya has been a Congress MLA for five times. He switched parties in 2017 after winning on a Congress ticket.
16. Daryapur: This is a Muslim majority seat of Ahmedabad city, which came into existence in 2012. Congress’s Gyasuddin Shaikh is winning from here since then. After AIMIM entered the election fray, a four-cornered fight between BJP, Congress, AAP and AIMIM can be seen here.
17 Jamalpur Khadia: This is a Muslim majority seat in Ahmedabad. This also came into existence in 2012. In that election, the BJP won from here due to the split of Muslim votes between Congress and independent candidate Sabir Kabliwala. Kabliwala is now the president of AIMIM’s Gujarat unit. Congress won this seat in 2017. This time AIMIM can field Kabliwala. This is considered a sign of trouble for the Congress.
18. Chhota Udepur (Scheduled Tribe): Veteran Congress leader and 11-time MLA Mohan Singh Rathwa has been winning from here since 2012. Now Rathwa has announced his retirement. He is asking for a ticket for his son. Congress Rajya Sabha MP Naran Rathwa is also trying to get his son a ticket.
19. Bharuch: This seat is in the limelight due to the large number of Muslim voters. However, BJP has been winning from here since 1990.
20: Godhra: This is another seat with Muslim population. Senior Congress leader CK Raulji won from here in 2007 and 2012. After which he joined BJP. In the year 2017, he won against the Congress by a margin of 258 votes.
21. Bhavnagar Rural: BJP stalwart and Koli leader Purushottam Solanki has been winning from here since 2012. BJP may avoid fielding him due to ill health.
22. Vadgam: Young Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani won the 2017 elections from here with Congress support.
23. Unjha: Modi’s hometown Vadnagar in Mehsana district falls in this constituency. The area is famous for Umiyadham, the temple of Umiya, the patron goddess of the Kadwa-Patidar community. In a major upset in 2017, Asha Patel of Congress defeated Narayan Patel of BJP. She later joined the BJP and won the by-election in 2019. The seat fell vacant after his death from dengue in December 2021.
24: Radhanpur: OBC leader Alpesh Thakor won from here on Congress ticket in 2017 but resigned from Congress and joined BJP in 2019. He lost to Raghu Desai of Congress in the by-election. It is being said that local BJP leaders are opposing his candidature.
25. Limbayat: BJP’s Sangeeta Patil has been winning from here since 2012. The seat falls in Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil’s Navsari Lok Sabha constituency. It has a large Muslim population and Sangeeta Patil has demanded implementation of the Disturbed Areas Act in Limbayat.