It’s going to be curtains down on the last elections of the year on December 5. The second phase of Gujarat elections will be held for the remaining 93 Assembly seats, for which 833 candidates of nearly 60 political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its traditional challenger Congress and the third player and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Independents are in fray.
The election results to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be announced on December 8. The first phase of the Gujarat elections, in which 89 Assembly constituencies went to polls, was held on December
Several key constituencies go to the polls on December 5. There is a mix of tribal dominated and SC reserved seats, along with those having Thakors and Patels as their majority vote bank. Most importantly two of the most anticipated contests involving Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and Patidar leader Hardik Patel, major faces who spearheaded pre-2017 election caste agitations and mobilization in Gujarat will be put to test.
Here’s a lowdown on what to expect in these key constituencies.
Ghatlodia – This urban constituency in Ahmedabad city was won by the highest margin – 1.17 lakh votes – in 2017. The winner was Bhupendra Patel, the incumbent Chief Minister of Gujarat. Mr Patel is seeking a second term from Ghatlodia, which was represented by former Chief Minister Anandiben Patel between 2012 and 2017. The constituency, which came into existence after being carved out from Sarkhej Assembly constituency after delimitation, has witnessed only two legislative Assembly elections, in 2012 and 2017, and gave the state two CMs.
Vadgam (SC) – This Scheduled Caste reserved Vadgam constituency falls under the Patan Lok Sabha constituency. In 2017, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani contesting as an Independent candidate defeated BJP candidate Vijaykumar Cakravarti by 19,696 votes.
In the 2022 elections, Mevani is contesting as a Congress candidate, who is up against BJP’s Manilal Vaghela and Dalpat Bhatiya of the Aam Aadmi Party.
Chhota Udaipur – This tribal-dominated constituency has two Rathwas in the fray. The BJP has fielded Rajendrasinh Rathwa, the son of 10-time legislator Mohansinh Rathwa, who has represented the seat since 2012. The Congress has given the ticket to Sangramisinh Rathwa, the son of party MP Naranbhai Rathwa. Winning margins have been wafer-thin since the 2007 polls, with the Congress winning two out of the last three elections.
Viramgam (Ahmedabad) – For the 2022 elections, the BJP has fielded firebrand Patidar leader Hardik Patel, the 29-year-old is a native of Chandranagar village of Viramgam taluka. Hardik Patel, who is one of the party’s star campaigners, switched from the Congress to BJP in June. He faces his maiden Assembly election against Congress MLA Lakhabhai Bharwad and Amarsinh Thakor who is the AAP candidate. In the 2017 Assembly elections, Bharwad had defeated BJP’s Tejashre Patel by a margin of over 6,500 votes.