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    Will Gujarat teach a lesson to defectors? Wait for Tuesday

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    Gandhinagar, Nov 9 (IANS) Everybody’s eyes are on Tuesday, as the counting of votes for the eight-seat bypolls begin from 8 in the morning. The results of these by-elections are significant as well as interesting, as to they will indicate who the Gujarat public has opted for. Have they have shown the door to Congress defectors and held the hand of the Congress, or they still want to back the saffron party.

    The by-elections were necessitated as eight legislators of Congress had resigned, indirectly paving the way for the ruling BJP party in Gujarat to gain an extra seat in The upper house of Parliament. Based on the strength of state Assembly seats, it was clear that both the parties could send two candidates to the Rajya Sabha, but with the resignations of eight legislators from Congress, the equation changed and Narhari Amin, the third candidate from the saffron party, entered the Rajya Sabha.

    81 candidates contested for the eight seats of Abdasa (01) Kaprada (181), a Scheduled Tribe (ST) seat, Karjan (147), Gadhada (106), a Scheduled Caste (SC), Morbi (65), Dhari (94), Limdi (61) and Dangs (173), an ST seat.

    Almost in all of the eight seats, the contest is a direct fight between the BJP and the Congress, with an exception at Abdasa.

    For the Abdasa seat, Congress has fielded Shantilal Sanghani against BJP’s Pradyumansinh Jadeja, who resigned from the seat. Here, the Bahujan Mukti party’s candidate Aqub Mutva can cut in the vote share of the either of the national political parties. Besides that, five independents have contested.

    Nine candidates were nominated for the ST seat of Dangs, where six independent candidates contested against BJP’s Vijaybhai Patel, Congress’s Suryakant Gavit and BTP’s Babubhai Gamit. The seat was vacated by Mangal Gavit from the Congress. Here the BTP candidate’s vote share can also hurt either the BJP or Congress.

    The BJP’s JV Kakadiya, who resigned from the Dhari seat from the Congress is fighting against Congress’s Surajbhai Kotadiya. There a total of 12 candidates in the fray.

    There are 12 candidates in the field for the seat of Gadhada, an SC reserved seat. Here also there is direct fight between BJP’s Atmaram Parmar and Congress’s Mohanbhai Solanki. The seat was vacated by Praveen Maru from Congress who had defeated BJP’s Atmaram Parmar.

    Only four candidates contested for the ST seat of Kaprada. Two independents contested against BJP’s Jeetu Chaudhary and Congress’s Babu Patel (Vartha). This seat was vacated by Congress’s Jeetu Chaudhary.

    Total 9 candidates are fighting for the Karjan seat, where five independents contested against BJP’s Akshay Patel, Congress’s Kiritsinh Jadeja, Rashtriya Jan Kranti party’s Dineshbhai Patel and Bhartiya Tribal Party (BTP)’s Mahendra Vasava. The seat was left by Congress’s Akshay Patel.

    There is a direct fight between BJP’s Kiritsinh Rana and Congress’s Chetanbhai Khachar for the Limdi seat. Fourteen independents contested for the seat as well as Akhil Bhartiya Rajarya party’s Dilipbhai Parmar. The Limdi seat was vacated by Congress’s Somabhai Ganda.

    The BJP’s Brijesh Merja, who had resigned from this seat elected on Congress’s banner is fighting Congress’s Jayantibhai Patel in Morbi seat. Just like Gadhada, there are 12 independents in the fray including All India Majlis-E- Inqlaab-E- Millat party’s Husainbhai Bhatti, who can cut a good chunk of vote share of either of the two parties.

    The Election Commission registered a voter turnout of 60.75 percent, which is quite a significant number considering not only the present threat of Covid-19 pandemic, but sizeable even considering the turnout in By-elections.

    The maximum polling was done in the tribal region of Kaprada, where 77.50% voters exercised their rights. Another tribal region the Dangs constituency registered polling of 75.01%. 70.01% was recorded in Karjan constituency while 61.82% was registered in Kutch region constituency of Abdasa.

    Limdi constituency registered 58.01% of polling, while Morbi recorded 52.32 percent polling. From Gadhada, the Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved seat, 50.76% voters exercised their rights and the least voter turnout was registered in Amreli region’s Dhari constituency, 45.79 percent.

    The vote counting will begin from eight in the morning on Tuesday and by noon, it is expected to deliver the results.

    Although both the parties are claiming victories in all the seats, looking at some of the exit polls, it is speculated that BJP could be having an upper hand with 5 win to 3 losses.

    –IANS

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