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Karma for 1996? Vajubhai Vala Was at Receiving End of Deve Gowda Engineered Coup in Gujarat

When the BJP formed the government at the Centre in 2014 and Modi finally ascended the high seat in Delhi, Vala was rewarded for keeping the BJP fortress intact and was made the Governor of Karnataka.

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Updated:May 17, 2018, 1:31 PM IST
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Karma for 1996? Vajubhai Vala Was at Receiving End of Deve Gowda Engineered Coup in Gujarat
File photo of Governor Vajubhai Vala.
New Delhi: Gujarat governor Vajubhai Vala has given BS Yeddyurappa 15 days to prove his majority on the floor of the House and this has led to both the Congress and the JD(S) crying foul. But there is a sub-plot.

In 1996, Gujarat BJP Government was dismissed by the President on the advice of the PM. Vaghela split the BJP to form government with backing of Congress. Interestingly, the name of the BJP state unit head was Vajubhai Vala and the PM was HD Deve Gowda. This was pointed out by Yashwant Deshmukh, the managing director and chief editor of Centre for Voting Opinion & Trends in Election Research (CVoter).

The tables have now turned completely.

Vala, the former Gujarat BJP leader, had once vacated his seat for Narendra Modi and later served as Finance Minister in CM Modi’s cabinet, would also recall this episode from the years gone by.

Rajkot in Gujarat had been a Congress stronghold. But in 1985, the newly-formed BJP wrested this seat from the Grand Old Party. Since then, the BJP has not lost here. The last time Congress won this seat was back in the year 1980, when Manibhai Ranpara won after polling 19,755 votes. Vajubhai Vala, who was the BJP candidate, was not so far behind with 17,762 votes. In the 1984 elections, Vala finally won the seat by beating Congress candidate Harshdaba Chudasa. Vala remained the MLA from Rajkot West till the year 2002, when he vacated the seat for BJP’s CM-designate Narendra Modi. The future PM won the election from Rajkot West after polling 45,298 votes. His opponent, Congress leader Ashwini Maheta polled 30,570 votes in the bypoll.

When the BJP formed the government at the Centre in 2014 and Modi finally ascended the high seat in Delhi, Vala was rewarded for keeping the BJP fortress intact and was made the Governor of Karnataka. In the 2014 bypoll, the seat was then passed on to Vijay Rupani, who won the seat by polling 81,092 votes. He beat his Congress opponent Jayanti Kalriya, a patidar, by over 23,000 votes.

In August 2016, when Chief Minister Anandiben Patel resigned, Rupani was elevated to CM. Rupani retained the seat against his opponent, Indranil Rajyaguru, in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly polls.

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| Edited by: Puja Menon
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