The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to sweep Gujarat, where it had won all the 26 seats in the western state in the last Lok Sabha elections, early trends indicated on Thursday as votes were being counted across the country.
With a lead in all the parliamentary constituencies after more than two hours of counting, the BJP is likely to retain its stronghold in the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah in the two-cornered contest with the Congress.
The Congress, which had given its best performance since 1995 by winning 77 seats in the assembly elections, was trailing by huge margins in most of the Lok Sabha constituencies.
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It appears the BJP is set to regain rural areas, including Saurashtra and north Gujarat, which the Modi-led party had lost in the 2015 local body elections and the assembly elections owing to the impact of Patidar quota agitation and rural distress.
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Amit Shah was leading against Congress candidate CJ Chavda by over 1.3 lakh votes in the Gandhinagar seat. While Amreli Congress candidate Paresh Dhanani is giving a tough fight, the BJP’s Naran Kacchadiya was leading by a thin margin of 5,000 votes on the seat. In Anand, the Congress’ Bharatsinh Madhavsinh Solanki was trailing by over 25,000 votes against Patel Mitesh Rameshbhai of the BJP.
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The BJP’s bounce-back comes after the ruling party’s lukewarm performance in the 2017 Gujarat state elections when its tally was reduced to 99 from the previous 115 in the 182-member assembly.
May 23, 2019 12:07 IST
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