With BJP Since 1998, Gujarat's Vadodara Continues to be a Saffron Party Citadel
The population distribution across the constituency suggests that almost 80% of the voters live in the urban areas while just the remaining 20% reside in the rural region.
In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had won the seat with a huge margin of 49.1% votes from Vadodara.
Vadodara had been the bastion of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for many years since the creation of the party. The party is holding the seat for the five straight consecutive terms of Lok Sabha elections since 1998.
In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself had won the seat with a huge margin of 49.1% votes (5,70,128 votes) over the Congress candidate Madhusudan Mistry. Later, Modi vacated the seat as he also won the Varanasi constituency in the same election.
The by-elections were held in Vadodara in 2014 after LS polls. BJP again won the mandate with a huge margin of about 45% votes. The BJP candidate, Ranjanben Bhatt, defeated Narendra Rawat who was fielded by Congress.
The two factors—urban and upper caste voters—always play a pivotal role in BJPs voting arithmetic. The population distribution across the constituency suggests that almost 80% of the voters live in the urban areas while just the remaining 20% reside in the rural region. Also, the percentage of minority votes is less than 10% here.
All the seven assembly constituencies—Savli, Waghodia, Vadodara city, Manjalpur, Sayajigunj, Akota, and Raopura—are currently held by BJP. This gives them an edge over the other opponents.
This time around, Prashant Patel of Congress will lock the horns with sitting MP Ranjanben Bhatt. She had been a member of various parliamentary committees over the last five years while she served as an MP. She is also a member of the standing committee on industry since October 2016.
Congress' best chance against the BJP in the last two decades came in 2004 when Satyajit Gaekwad from the erstwhile royal family of Vadodara lost to Jayaben Thakkar by a narrow margin of 6,603 votes.
Gaekwad had won the seat by a margin of just 17 votes against Jitendra Sukhadia in 1996.
The population of the LS seat is 23,11,929. Of these, the eligible voters were 16,38,321 in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The voter turnout was 70.9% in the constituency in 2014 elections.
All 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will go to polls on April 23 and the results will be declared on May 23.
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