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2-min read

Follow These Bellwether Seats To Be The First One To Decode the Verdict

A look at the list of winners in Valsad since 1975 will reveal that this assembly seat is Gujarat’s true bellwether seat – where Valsa leads, Gujarat will follow.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:December 18, 2017, 9:39 AM IST
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Follow These Bellwether Seats To Be The First One To Decode the Verdict
A look at the list of winners in Valsad since 1975 will reveal that this assembly seat is Gujarat’s true bellwether seat – where Valsa leads, Gujarat will follow.

New Delhi: Valsad, Ankaleshwar, Olpad, Surat East, Surat West and Navsari are all situated in different, disparate parts of Gujarat and yet, they have something in common. These seats are Gujarat's 'bellwether seats'. These are seats that have, for the last few decades, had the habit of correctly predicting the winner of state assembly election.

Valsad

Of all of Gujarat's bellwether seats, Valsad, perhaps, has had the best record of predicting the winner. A look at the list of winners in Valsad since 1975 will reveal that this assembly seat is Gujarat's true bellwether seat – where Valsa leads, Gujarat will follow. In 1975, Keshavbhai Ratanji Patel, the National Congress (Organizational) candidate won the election from Valsad. That year, the NCO-Jana Sangh coalition unseated the Congress from power in the state. In 1980, Dolatrai Desai won the seat and his party, the Congress, returned to power. In 1985, Desai fought as an independent and lost to Congress candidate Barjorji Pardiwala and the Congress won another term in the state. Desai returned to Valsad in 1990, but this time as a BJP candidate and a BJP-Janata Dal coalition won the state. Desai won again in 1995 and Keshubhai Patel became the first BJP Chief Minister of Gujarat. Desai won the seat again in 1998, 2002 and 2007 – all elections that the BJP won. In 2012, his seat passed on to BJP leader Bharatbhai Patel and once again, the BJP retained power in the state.

Ankaleshwar

Ankleshwar assembly constituency is located in Bharuch district. Ishwarsinh Thakorbhai Patel from is BJP is the sitting MLA. He has been winning elections from 2002 onwards while BJP's Narendra Modi and Vijay Rupani formed governments in the state. Patel Ratanjibhai Balubhai was the MLA in 1995, when Keshubhai Patel was CM from March 14 to October 21, 1995. In 1985 Nathubhai Narotambhai Patel from Indian National Congress had won while Madhav Singh Solanki was the chief minister.

Olpad

In 1985, Mahendrabhai Ratanjibhai Patel from INC became the MLA from Olpad in Surat district by winning the election by 39,520 votes. This coincided with a Congress win across the state, which saw Madhavsinh Solanki become Chief Minister. In 2002, Patel Dhansukhbhai Nathubhai from BJP won the seat by getting 74,572 or 44.47% of votes, which was accompanied by Narendra Modi's rise to the CM’s post. In 2007, BJP's Kiritbhai Patel became the MLA from this seat and in 2012 Mukeshbhai Patel, also of the BJP, won.

Navsari

One of the oldest cities in Gujarat, which finds mention even in Greek historical writings, Navsari is an important South Gujarat seat that has proven to be a bellwether. When in 1995 Patel Mangubhai Chhaganbhai from BJP won with 58,346 - 55.93% votes beating Talavia Kanjibhai Dhediabhai from INC who got 43,884 or 42.06%, the state saw Keshubhai Patel became the chief minister. Chhangabahi continued his victory against Congress till 2007. In 2012 Piyushbhai Dinkarbhai Desai of the BJP won with 81,601 votes and Narendra Modi became the chief minister.

Surat East and Surat West

In 1985, the constituency of East elected Mahaswetabahen Jashwantsinh Chauhan from INC as its MLA, and Surat West elected Babubhai Sopariwala as the MLA. That year Madhav Singh Solanki from the Indian National Congress was the chief minister. In the year 1995, both the constituencies elected BJP MLAs and BJP's Keshubhai Patel became the chief minister. From September 19, 1996 to October 23, 1996 the state was under President’s rule. Rashtriya Janata Party formed the government in the state from 1996 to 1998. From that year onwards, BJP continued to rule the state till and the twin constituencies of Surat East and West sent BJP MLAs to the Assembly.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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