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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Congress-AAP combined vote share of 2022 Gujarat assembly polls may not be enough to defeat BJP in 2024

A senior BJP leader says no alliance can stop his party from winning all the 26 seats in Gujarat and the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party are not ready to face the ground reality

PTI Ahmedabad Published 04.04.24, 10:20 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File

Even as the Congress-AAP combined vote share in the 2022 Gujarat assembly polls was less than the BJP, they are confident of winning in alliance some of the 26 Lok Sabha seats in the state and halting the saffron party's clean sweep bid.

A senior BJP leader, however, says no alliance can stop his party from winning all the 26 seats in Gujarat and the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party are not ready to face the ground reality.

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But the Congress and AAP leaders say the assembly polls data is a thing of the past and claim that with the changing voter sentiments and a new arrangement in place, they will be able to attract more number of voters for their united fight against the BJP in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

They also feel the BJP will face anti-incumbency after having swept all the 26 seats in the state in the last two Lok Sabha polls.

Elections to the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held in a single phase on May 7.

In the 2022 assembly elections, the BJP polled 52.50 per cent votes, while the combined voter share of the Congress and AAP was 40.2 per cent.

Out of the total 182 assembly seats in Gujarat, the BJP bagged 156, Congress-17 and AAP-5.

Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi told PTI, "AAP is a partner in the opposition INDIA alliance, and in Gujarat we are playing the role of the big brother. The alliance will certainly stop the division of votes against the BJP and will help both the Congress, which is contesting in 24 seats, and the AAP in two seats." The Congress is helping the AAP in every possible way and to win Bharuch and Bhavnagar Lok Sabha seats, where the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has fielded its candidates in alliance with the grand old party, Doshi said.

Congress state president Shaktisinh Gohil even participated in a function of the opening of the AAP Bhavnagar candidate's election office, he said.

Bhavnagar is the home district of Gohil.

In the 2022 assembly polls, the AAP for the first time fielded candidates in all 182 seats and contested against both the BJP and Congress.

The AAP and Congress leaders believe division of votes between the two parties played an important role in the BJP winning 156 seats, the highest ever in the Gujarat assembly elections.

"The alliance this time will prevent the division of votes seen in the last assembly elections. With the candidate of only one party taking on the BJP candidate in a seat, the anti-incumbency sentiment among voters will not be divided," Gujarat AAP leader Sagar Rabari claimed.

The AAP and Congress alliance has also given confidence to those electors who were unsure of voting against the BJP during the 2022 assembly polls as they believed the opposition was divided, he said.

"As far as the 2022 vote share is concerned, it is an old data and not of much use now. Dynamics change, and this time the two parties taking on the BJP will change the equation," he claimed.

However, Gujarat BJP president CR Paatil said the Congress-AAP alliance will make little difference to his party's march towards its bid to repeat the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha poll result.

This time, the BJP seeks to win each seat by a margin of more than 5 lakh votes, he said.

"No alliance can stop the BJP from winning all 26 seats. I believe the Congress and AAP are still dreaming and not ready to see the ground reality," he said.

Out of the five assembly seats won by AAP in 2022, two fall under Bharuch and Bhavnagar Lok Sabha constituencies, where the Kejriwal-led party has now fielded its sitting MLAs as candidates.

Bharuch, having a sizable tribal population, was a Congress stronghold till 1989, when senior party leader Ahmed Patel failed to win for the fourth term. Since then, the seat has been with the BJP.

Mansukh Vasava, the BJP's candidate from Bharuch, is seeking a seventh term.

He is pitted against AAP's Chaitar Vasava, who had won Dediapada assembly seat in Narmada district under the Bharuch Lok Sabha constituency by a huge margin against his BJP rival Hitesh Vasava.

Out of the seven assembly segments under Bharuch Lok Sabha seat, six are held by the BJP.

Data of the last assembly elections on these seven seats shows that the Congress-AAP combined vote share of 4.74 lakh was way less than 6.16 lakh votes polled by the BJP.

Similarly in Bhavnagar, out of the seven assembly seats, six are held by the BJP, which polled a total 6.14 lakh votes. The Congress and AAP together got 4.91 lakh votes.

In the 2022 assembly polls, 128 AAP candidates and 41 Congress nominees had to forfeit their deposits.

In the Bharuch constituency, the BJP secured 51 per cent of votes, 12 per cent more than the combined vote share of Congress (around 26 per cent) and AAP (13 per cent), Paatil said after the two parties finalised their alliance.

"In the last assembly elections, AAP candidates lost deposits in four of the seven segments under the Bharuch constituency. Bhavnagar is also a BJP stronghold which the party has been winning for years," Paatil said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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