Ahmedabad: Narendra Modi has once again defended his Gujarat citadel. The incumbent Chief Minister scored a massive win on Thursday with the BJP winning 115 seats out of the total 182.
As per the Gujarat Election Results 2012, the BJP has won 115 seats, while the Congress finished with 61 seats.
Though the Congress marginally bettered its tally this time, getting two seats more, state party chief Arjun Modhwadia and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil suffered shock defeat from Porbandar and Bhavnagar rural seats respectively. Both were among the probables for Chief Minister's post in the event of Congress coming to power.
However, another Congress stalwart, Shankarsinh Vaghela, a former BJP Chief Minister, managed to scrape through from Kapadvanj.
Among the major casualties for BJP were five ministers in the Narendra Modi government.
Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas was worsted by Balvantsinh Rajput of Congress in Siddhpur, while Agriculture Minister Dileep Sanghani lost to Congress' Paresh Dhanani at Amreli. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Fakirbhai Vaghela lost to Congress' Jethabhai Vaghela in Vadgam.
Modi’s challenger Keshubhai Patel of Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) failed miserably in his mission to uproot the man who had taken over from him as Chief Minister in 2002 and has never looked back since. The GPP has won only two seats - one of the two winners being Keshubhai himself.
Even Gordhan Zadafia, who was Minister of State for Home in BJP government in 2002 and was considered to be orchestrating efforts to rally voters in Saurashtra behind Keshubhai, lost from the Gondal.
In 2007, before the delimitation of constituencies, BJP had won 39 of 52 seats in Saurashtra, while Congress pocketed 12 and NCP one.
This time, out of 48 seats, spread across the 7 districts of Saurashtra, BJP has won 32, Congress 13, GPP two and NCP one.
In Surat, where GPP was expected to perform well as owners of many small businesses and diamond traders have roots in Saurashtra, the party failed miserably with all its candidates losing.
Sharad Pawar's NCP, fighting the polls in alliance, won two, while JD(U) and an independent won a seat apiece.
The performance of the two main contenders to power was nearly a repeat of the 2007 elections when BJP had won 117 seats and Congress 59.
Modi himself won by a massive margin of 86,373 votes from Maninagar, humbling Congress' Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, who has accused the Chief Minister of complicity in 2002 communal riots and is fighting a legal battle against him.
Modi's right hand man and former Minister of State for Home Amit Shah won Naranpura seat by over 63,000 votes trouncing Jitubhai Patel of the Congress. Shah is an accused in alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.
Later, addressing a huge gathering of supporters a triumphant Modi thanked the people of Gujarat for proving wrong the adage that "good economics makes bad politics".
"Today I am proud that people of Gujarat have voted for good governance and development. They have risen above the casteist and parochial politics of the 1980s and rejected politics of false promises," he said.
Amid loud chants of "PM, PM, PM", Modi, whose Prime Ministerial ambition is well known, said," If you want, I will go to Delhi on 27th."
Though he had launched a largely personalised campaign, Modi said,"This is a victory for Team BJP of which I am a small part. Party is always bigger than individual."
An emphatic victory for Narendra Modi means that the chorus within the BJP for a bigger role in the party’s national affairs is set to grow.
However, officially, the BJP today parried questions on whether he will be the party's prime ministerial candidate in the next Lok Sabha elections.
"Modi bhai has always been an important leader in the BJP...We are not a dynastic party which is led by a Yuvaraj. We function in a pure democratic fashion," BJP chief Spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
He was asked whether the third straight victory in Gujarat has defined Modi as the prime ministerial candidate for the BJP in the next Lok Sabha election in 2014.
The party should be allowed to rejoice in its performance-led victory in the state, Prasad said, adding that Modi fought against all forms of vicious campaigns against himself at different levels in the state as well as internationally.
BJP: Amit Shah – Naranpura (won), Saurabh Patel – Akota (won), Jayrajsinh Jadeja – Gondal (won), Anandiben Patel – Ghatlodi (won), Ganpat Vasava – Mangrol (won), Mahendrabhai Mashru – Junagadh (won).
Congress: Mahendrasinh Vaghela – Bayad (won), Paresh Dhanani – Amreli (won), Jayesh Radadiya – Jetpur (won), Jawahar Chavda - Manavdar (won).
Others: Keshubhai Patel – Visavadar (won).
BJP: Dilip Sanghani – Amreli (lost), Jaynarayan Vyas – Sidhapur (lost).
Congress: Kanubhai Bhalala - Visavadar (lost), Shaktisinh Gohil – Bhavnagar (Rural) (lost), Arjun Modhwadia – Porbander (lost).
Others: Gordhanbhai Zadafia – Gondal (lost), Dr Kanubhai Kalsariya –Gariyadhar (lost), Jagruti Pandya - Ellisbridge (lost).
The voting was spread across two phases – Dec 13 and 17 with record 71.32 percent voters casting their ballot.
With PTI inputs
First Published: Thursday, December 20, 2012, 07:41