Congress wrests 3 Assembly seats in Gujarat; BJP retains 6, 1 LS seat

Congress Tuesday wrested three Assembly seats in Gujarat from the ruling BJP, which managed to retain six besides the lone Lok Sabha seat for which by-polls were held on September 13.

Ahmedabad: Congress Tuesday wrested three Assembly seats in Gujarat from the ruling BJP, which managed to retain six besides the lone Lok Sabha seat for which by-polls were held on September 13.

After a complete sweep in the May Lok Sabha polls in which BJP had won all the 26 seats in the state, it suffered reverses as it lost Dessa, Mangrol and Khambalia seats to Congress.

BJP managed to retain Maninagar, Tankara, Talaja, Anand, Kheda and Limkheda Assembly and Vadodara Lok Sabha seats.

In Vadodara, the seat vacated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who chose to retain Varanasi, BJP candidate Ranjanben Bhatt thumped her Congress rival Narendra Rawat by over 3.29 lakh votes. The margin of victory, though impressive, paled in comparison to that of Modi, who had won the seat by 5.7 lakh votes.

The bypolls were seen as a test of leadership abilities of Modi's chosen successor Anandiben Patel under whom the party failed to replicate its spectacular showing of Lok Sabha election.

Modi's exit from Gujarat ostensibly helped Congress regain some of the lost ground in the state with its tally in the 182-member Assembly going up to 57.

BJP retained Maninagar, vacated by Modi following his election to Lok Sabha. BJP candidate from Maninagar in Ahmedabad city Suresh Patel defeated Congress' Jatin Kella by a comfortable margin of 49,652 votes.

BJP candidate Kesrisinh Solanki defeated Congress' Kalidas Parmar by 8,610 votes in Matar, while its nominee for Anand Rohit Patel humbled Congress candidate Kanti Sodha Parmar by 5,243 votes.

The saffron party's nominees Vinchhiya Bhuriya, Shiv Gohil and Bavanjee Metaliya defeated Congress nominees Chhatrasinh Meda, Pravin Vala and Lalit Kagthara by 23,934, 9518 and 11,731 votes to retain Limkheda, Talaja and Tankara Assembly seats respectively.

Congress candidate Meraman Ahir defeated BJP's Mulu Bera by a slender margin of 1227 votes in Khambhalia, while its nominee Gova Rabari drubbed BJP candidate Lebjee Parmar by a 10,394 votes in Deesa. Congress' Babu Vaja won Mangrol seat trouncing BJP's Laxman Yadav by 22,682 votes.

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