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Vyara, Jasdan Remain BJP's Achilles Heel in Battleground Gujarat

During the high-octane Assembly poll campaign in Gujarat, the BJP had its best chance to win the two seats but failed yet again to halt the Congress’s victory.

Rajiv Kumar | CNN-News18@rajivjournalist

Updated:December 18, 2017, 6:10 PM IST
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Vyara, Jasdan Remain BJP's Achilles Heel in Battleground Gujarat
File photo of PM Narendra Modi (PTI)

New Delhi: With the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pulling off a remarkable win, the party’s jinx with two seats, Vyara in Tapi district of South Gujarat and Jasdan in Rajkot district of Saurashtra region, continues.

While the Saffron party had briefly wrested the Jasdan seat in a 2009 bypoll, it’s yet to open its tally in Vyara.

During the high-octane Assembly poll campaign, the BJP had its best chance to win the two seats but failed yet again to halt the Congress’s victory.

In fact, it was in Jasdan, an erstwhile princely state, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a campaign rally, attacked the Congress, saying, “The Congress dislikes me because of my poor origins. Yes, I sold tea but I did not sell the nation.”

Jasdan is an OBC (Koli) stronghold. Hence, the Prime Minister wooed the community by underscoring that the top constitutional post in the country is occupied by none but a Koli. The PM was referring to President Ram Nath Kovind’s caste and his election to the top constitutional post.

However, it seems, the Prime Minister’s speech failed to cut ice with the voters, who for the ninth time reposed faith in the Grand Old Party by electing Congress’s Bavaliya Kunvarjibhai Mohanbhai.

Vyara, though 500 kilometers from Jasdan, followed suit.

The tribal-dominated constituency has remained Congress’s fortress for the last 57 years since Gujarat was carved out of Bombay as a separate state after the Mahagujarat movement.

Here, too, the BJP was hopeful of changing the local narrative. And, just before the Assembly polls, the local Congress unit faced dissent when two of the senior Congress leaders crossed over to BJP in the presence of none other than party chief Amit Shah.

However, the public was in no mood for a change and backed Gamit Punabhai Dhedabhai, giving Congress a chance to represent them in the Assembly.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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