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DATA STORY: Up to 3,000 votes in 15 seats saved BJP the blushes in Gujarat Assembly Elections

19 December, 2017 10:35 AM
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DATA STORY: Up to 3,000 votes in 15 seats saved BJP the blushes in Gujarat Assembly Elections

Three BJP candidates won by a margin of less than 1,000 votes including CK Raulji from Godhra who won by just 258 votes

The Bharatiya Janata Party's win in Gujarat wasn't as resounding as it would have liked, and its victory margin in a number of seats was far from convincing. The victory in 15 constituencies was key to the BJP crossing the half-way mark (a 92-seat win) for the Gujarat Assembly elections.

Of the 182 seats in the Gujarat Assembly, 26 were won by a margin of less than 3,000 votes, according to the Election Commission. The BJP won 15 of these seats and the Congress 11. Furthermore, the margin of victory was less than 1,000 seats in seven constituencies. The Congress won four of these seats, while the BJP three.

South Gujarat's Kaprada constituency, where Congress’ Jitubhai Harjibhai Chaudhari won by 170 votes, saw the closest margin of victory for any candidate this year. Total vote count margin in the communally-sensitive Godhra, where two-time incumbent CK Raulji triumphed by 258 votes, was second to Kaprada. Raulji defected to the BJP from the Congress just months before the Gujarat Assembly Elections.

If results in the 15 constituencies where the BJP won by less than 3,000 votes had gone the Congress' way, the ruling party would have faced a defeat for the first time 22 years in the state.

The Congress and its allies won 80 seats while the BJP emerged victorious in 99 constituencies.

A few hundred, perhaps a few thousand, votes in 15 constituencies would have swung the results in favour of the Congress and its allies. With 80 seats in its bag, the Congress+ combine would have crossed the half-way mark for a majority with 95 wins. The swing could have ended the BJP's reign in Gujarat as its vote-share would have been reduced to 84, the party's lowest tally since 1995.

Incidentally, seven of these 15 constituencies— Godhra, Dholka, Botad, Himatnagar, Porbandar, Gariadhar and Umreth — had a win margin of fewer than 2,000 votes.

Among these 15 constituencies, Congress had won four in the 2012 Assembly Elections and the rest were with BJP. Of the four seats which BJP snatched from Congress, two — Himatnagar and Parantij — were won comfortably with over 7,000 votes by the Congress in the 2012 Assembly Elections.

On the other hand, if the results in the 11 constituencies where the Congress defeated the BJP were otherwise, the saffron party's victory would have been pronounced. The BJP’s tally would have shot to 110 which certainly would have been a comfortable win. The Congress' vote-share would have further slumped to 66 from its current tally of 77.

Incidentally in Deodar, Talaja, and Jamjodhpur — which Congress wrested wins this year — were won comfortably by BJP in the 2012 Assembly Elections. The winning margin for all three seats was more than 18,000 in 2012.

Eight of these 11 constituencies — Kaprada, Mansa, Dangs, Deodar, Chhota Udaipur, Wankaner, Modasa and Talaja — had win margin of fewer than 2,000 votes.

A similar analysis of Himachal Pradesh’s 68 constituencies reveals that 18 seats had win margin of fewer than 2,000 votes, including the five seats where win margin was less than 1,000 votes.

Both parties were almost equally successful in bagging closely fought seats. Congress won nine seats where vote margin was less than 2,000 votes and the BJP won eight. One such seat went to the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Congress’ Jagat Singh Negi from Kinnaur was declared a winner by 120 votes in the closest fought contest in the state. Rajinder Rana of Congress defeated BJP CM candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal by 1,919 votes from Sujanpur.

Most of the Himachal Pradesh’s constituencies had a winning margin less than 10,000 largely owing to the comparatively low population. Any win by more than 2,000 votes could easily be said a comfortable one.

Among the 26 closely fought constituencies in Gujarat, if the NOTA (None Of The Above) votes in 25 constituencies had gone to the losing candidates, the results would have been otherwise. The only constituency where this would not have made any difference was Gariadhar where BJP’s Keshubhai Hirjibhai Nakrani won by 1,876 votes. The votes polled for NOTA was 1,557 in Gariadhar.

However, in Himachal Pradesh, NOTA votes polled were more than the winning margin in only four out of 18 closely fought constituencies —Dalhousie, Kasauli, Barsar, and Kinnaur.

In both the states, particularly in Gujarat, leaders failed to woo the undecided voters. A total of 5.5 lakh voters opted for NOTA in Gujarat and over 34,000 voters chose NOTA in Himachal Pradesh.

Also read: Ahead of no-trust vote, Speaker accepts resignation of Jay Panda

Source: moneycontrol.com

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