The phase-1 polling has begun in Gujarat on Thursday and after weeks of intense campaigning by all the political parties, Gujarat’s citizens are ready to cast their votes in the first round of the assembly elections.
The fate of political parties will be decided by over 2 crore
With 89 constituencies spread across 19 districts in Kutch, Saurashtra, and South Gujarat up for election today. Political parties including the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress, and Aam Aadmi Party have been racing to make election promises.
Voting is being held from 8 am to 5 pm, according to the Indian Election Commission.
There are now 39 political parties running for office, and they have fielded 788 candidates, including 718 men and 70 women.
Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP is taking a chance by attempting to capitalise on anti-incumbency and concerns like inflation and unemployment in order to gain power, while the state’s current ruling BJP is displaying confidence in maintaining its 27-year reign.
On the numerous constituencies that will vote on Thursday morning, a tough contest is anticipated as the BJP seeks to hold onto power and the AAP seeks to make inroads into yet another state.
Jamnagar North (Jamnagar)
The first on the list is Jamnagar North, where the contest is between Rivaba Jadeja of the BJP, the wife of cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, Bipendrasinh Jadeja of the Congress, and Karsan Karmur of the AAP.
Ahir Jivanbhai Karubhai Kumbharvadiya, a candidate for the Congress, was defeated by incumbent MLA Dharmendrasinh Merubha in the 2017 Assembly elections.
The race for the seat gained attention after a political spat between two members of the same family came to light. Rivaba, who is running for office for the first time, is supporting the BJP, while her sister-in-law and father-in-law are supporting the Congress candidate.
The second name on the list is Morbi, which gained attention after the recent tragedy in which a suspension bridge collapsed into the river, killing over 130 people.
Kantilal Amrutiya, a replacement for the outgoing MLA and Cabinet Minister Brijesh Merja, is running against Jayantilal Jerajbhai Patel of the Congress and Pankaj Ransariya of the AAP.
In an effort to pressure the administration over the Morbi tragedy, the opposition parties brought up the matter of ‘mismanagement’ in the incident during the campaign.
Prior to Amrutiya’s loss to Merja, a member of the Congress in 2017, the BJP had previously won the Morbi Assembly seat in 1995, 1998, 2002, 2007, and 2012, according to records.
Merja later joined the BJP and won the Morbi by-elections once more. In 2022, the BJP will have Merja and Amrutiya.
Khambalia (Devbhoomi Dwarka)
The seat gains significance because Isudan Gadhvi, the AAP’s nominee for chief minister, is running from here. Vikram Madam of the Congress and Mulu Ayar Bera of the BJP are his opponents.
The BJP and AAP are anticipated to engage in a close race in the triangular conflict. Ahir Vikrambhai Arjanbhai Madam, a Congress contender, was successful in winning the seat in 2017. Congress has changed who will be running in the 2022 elections.
Rajkot West (Rajkot)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi previously ran in a by-election for Rajkot West in 2002. Vijay Rupani, a former chief minister, ran from the location in the 2017 Assembly elections.
Darshita Shah, a two-time deputy mayor, will compete against Dinesh Joshi of the AAP and Mansukhbhai of the Congress on the BJP ticket.
The seat, which the BJP has held since 1985, is regarded as one of its strongholds.
In the 2017 Assembly elections, Rupani defeated INC candidate Indranil Rajguru by a margin of 53,755 votes to win the seat.
The BJP’s Pabubha Manek is running against the AAP’s Nakum Lakhmanbhai Boghabhai and the Congress’ Malubhai Kandoria, who hasn’t lost an election in 32 years for the Devbhoomi Dwarka seat.
Manek had won the first three elections (1990, 1995, and 1998) as an independent leader. After joining the Congress, he won the seat in 2002. Later, running for the BJP, he prevailed in the Assembly elections of 2007, 2012, and 2017.
Manek defeated Ahir Meraman Markhi of the Congress in the 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections by a margin of 5,739 votes.
Gopal Italia, the state president of the AAP and a prominent Patidar leader, has been nominated by the constituency and is expected to engage in an exciting fight for the seat. He had been instrumental in the 2015 Patidar quota movement. He will compete against BJP candidate Vinodbhai Amrishbhai Mordiya and Congress candidate Kaplesh Variya, a member of the Prajapati community (OBC).