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Modi 'Tsunami' Helps Four Congress Turncoats Sail Through in Assembly Bypolls in Gujarat

The decision to hold simultaneous by-polls in four Assembly constituencies in Gujarat with the Lok Sabha elections was taken after a number of sitting Congress MLAs defected to the ruling BJP ahead of the general elections.

Vijaysinh Parmar | News18.com

Updated:May 23, 2019, 7:52 PM IST
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Modi 'Tsunami' Helps Four Congress Turncoats Sail Through in Assembly Bypolls in Gujarat
In this file photo, PM Narendra Modi greeting people in Vadnagar, Gujarat.(Photo: PIB)

Ahmedabad: With Prime Minister Narendra Modi set for a second term as Prime Minister, it appears that the BJP’s gamble of holding simultaneous by-polls in four Assembly constituencies in Gujarat with the Lok Sabha elections has paid off.

The decision to hold simultaneous polls was taken after a number of sitting Congress MLAs defected to the ruling BJP ahead of the general elections. Congress MLAs Jawahar Chavda (Manavadar), Parshottam Sabariya (Dhrangdhra), Vallabh Dharaviya (Jamnagar Rural) and Ashaben Patel (Unjha) had switched to the BJP.

The Narendra Modi “tsunami” enabled the BJP to win all 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, with the party set to also win four Assembly seats in the bypolls as well.

Trends suggest that the four BJP candidates fielded from Assembly constituencies were leading with a considerable margin against their rival Congress candidates.

Interestingly, a few of these candidates had faced protests from within the BJP after they defected from the Congress. But the Modi juggernaut helped these four candidates comfortably win the Assembly bypolls.

The BJP fielded Chavda from Manavadar, Asha Patel from Unjha, Sabariya from Dhrangdhra and Raghavji Patel from Jamnagar Rural Assembly constituency in the bypolls.

Chavda, an Ahir leader, had been inducted into the Vijay Rupani government hours after joining the BJP. The leader has been a four-time MLA from Manavadar constituency.

Early in February, Congress MLA from Unjha in Mehsana district Asha Patel had resigned and joined the BJP. PM Modi’s native Vadnagar also falls in the Unjha Assembly Constituency. In the 2017 Assembly polls, Asha Patel had won this seat on a Congress ticket.

The police had arrested Sabariya in October 2018 for allegedly demanding Rs 40 lakh in exchange for not exposing a purported scam in repairing check-dams and minor irrigation schemes in the district. He is currently out on bail.

In Jamnagar Rural assembly seat, Congress MLA Dharviya moved to the BJP last month, but the party has not fielded him in the bypolls after assurances that he would be made chairman in one of the boards in the state government. Instead, the BJP fielded Raghavji Patel who had left the Congress ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls. He had contested against Dharviya on a BJP ticket, but had lost.

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