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Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad battle: Loath Advani, actor Rawal, miffed Pathak

The twin seats of Ahmedabad along with the Gandhinagar are BJP bastions as the party has swept these seats for more than two decades.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-IBN

Updated:March 26, 2014, 12:17 PM IST
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Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad battle: Loath Advani, actor Rawal, miffed Pathak
The twin seats of Ahmedabad along with the Gandhinagar are BJP bastions as the party has swept these seats for more than two decades.
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Ahmedabad: If elections are all about just winning and losing, the number of people betting on the BJP losing any of the three seats comprising Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad, would form a minuscule minority. The twin seats of Ahmedabad along with the Gandhinagar seat are BJP bastions to say the least. The party has swept these seats for more than two decades now.

But elections are not just about just winning. They are about people choosing candidates that they love and want to see representing them in parliament. Sample the three BJP candidates for the three seats of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar and one does find that all is really not so hunky and dory.

To begin with, BJP patriarch LK Advani, who has won the Gandhinagar seat five times, did not want to contest from here this time around. He was quite literally arm twisted to accepting the seat. Yes, it is a safe seat for the BJP. It is a seat that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had fought and won. It is the seat of power in Gujarat. But it's surely not Advani's first choice.

Next is the big one, Ahmedabad East seat. A seven time Member of Parliament from one single seat clearly does enjoy support of his electorate. Twenty five years is quite a long time that Harin Pathak had been MP of the constituency. Even after delimitation came into effect in the 2009 general elections, Pathak continued his winning streak. Yes, it is a safe seat for the BJP. But it will not send Harin Pathak to Parliament this time around. Instead, actor Paresh Rawal, an outsider in the true sense of the word (Rawal stays in Mumbai), will be the BJP candidate from Ahmedabad East.

In more ways than one, the Ahmedabad East and Gandhinagar seats have things in common. Advani did not want to contest Gandhinagar but has been forced to do so. Advani wanted his trusted aide Pathak to contest from Ahmedabad East, but that is not happening either. And if elections are more than just winning or losing, then spare a thought for all those BJP supporters and Pathak claims they number several thousands who want a candidate of their choice in Parliament. And what about Advani? In all probability he will end up representing a constituency he does not want to represent.

That leaves us with the third seat in Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar twin cities. That is Ahmedabad West seat. Post delimitation, this seat became reserved for the SC candidates. Again, it's a seat that the BJP has been winning hands down and is expected to do so this time around too. But sitting BJP MP Dr Kirit Solanki did face rebellion but was still given a ticket.

Many believe the Congress cannot dent the BJP strongholds of Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. The candidates it has fielded Kirit Patel in Gandhingar and Ishwar Makwana in Ahmedabad West - are up against an electorate that has been hugely favouring the Bharatiya Janata Party for more than two decades now. Former Mayor of Ahmedabad Himmat Sinh Patel will take on Paresh Rawal in Ahmedabad West.

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