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  • Although the BJP is set to retain hold of Gujarat, the victory margin of a majority of BJP heavyweights has shrunk while the Congress party’s vote share has shown a significant increase. The saffron party’s decision to drop some incumbent legislators and replace them with fresh faces has helped the BJP retain old strongholds, but again with reduced margins.
  • Babubhai Bokhiriya, the BJP’s sitting MLA who sought re-election from the Porbandar seat against Congress veteran Arjun Modhvadia, was vitorious. However, Bokhiriya’s victory margin was only1855 votes against 17146 votes of 2012.
  • Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel, who was trailing behind his Congress rival Jiva Patel for a long time, finally appears to be winning from his traditional Mahesana seat. However, while Nitin Patel – a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a key Patidar leader in the state – won the Mahesana seat by 24205 votes in 2012, his victory margin came down to just over 12000 votes in the current election.
  • The BJP’s Mahuva MLA Raghav Makwana who had won the Mahuva seat in 2012 by a margin of 28352 votes, retained the seat with a victory margin of just 5009 votes.
  • Though the BJP comprehensively won Maninagar, the seat which elected Narendra Modi in 2012, the party’s candidate Suresh Patel registered a victory margin of 75199 votes, which was lower than the margin of 86373 votes that Modi had won the seat with five years ago.
  • In the Ghatlodia constituency, the BJP had fielded Bhupendra Rajnikant Patel after sitting MLA and former chief minister Anandiben Patel refused to contest the polls. Anandiben Patel had won this seat in Ahmedabad district by a massive margin of 110395 votes in 2012. However, Bhupendra Patel’s margin in the current election was around 95000 votes.
  • In the Surat (East) constituency, which had seen massive protests by local traders against the GST, the BJP had replaced its sitting MLA Ranjit Gilitwala with Arvind Rana. While Gilitwala had won the seat for the BJP with a margin of 15789 votes in 2012, Rana retained the seat for the party with a marginal victory margin of just over 700 votes.
  • The BJP’s vote share is pegged to be within 50 per cent while the Congress’ share is projected to cross 41 per cent, an almost 15 per cent jump from the 2012 assembly polls.

The winners so far…

  • Babubhai Bhimabhai Bokhiriya of the BJP, at the Porbandar seat won with 62,892 votes, over Congress’ Arjun Modhvadia who got 62,654 votes.
  • Pradipsinh Jadeja of the BJP from Vatva constituency, won with 40,272 votes over Congress’ Bipinchandra Rugnathbhai Patel (Bipinkaka)  who got 15,218 votes.

  • Chief Minister Vijay Rupani won from Rajkot West with 46,159 votes, beating his nearest rival Congress’ Indranil Rajguru who got 25,359 votes.

  • Jitu Vaghani won at Bhavnagar West with 43,506 votes, beating his nearest rival Gohil Dilipsinh Ajitsinh of the Congress who got 35,368 votes.

    Erratic Sensex shows a speculative sideErratic Sensex shows a speculative side

  • Describing the movement of the BSE Sensex on Monday (December 18) morning would have been a sham. It dipped 800 points with news of several seats in which the BJP was trailing in different seats in Gujarat and in Himachal Pradesh, but then not only recovered ground, but shot up beyond the floor base of Friday’s close a good 216 points as the index was swelling at 10.50am. Business indices are known to move with election fortunes, but this wild move for over nearly a 1,000 points in an overall band cannot be explained in business terms. Is speculative moves were to decide fortunes at the market then this was possibly the worst case scenario in a long time for the market’s moves.

All 3 agitation leaders leading

  • Jignesh Mevani, Alpesh Thakor and Lalit Vasoya are all leading from Vadgam, Radhanpur and Dhoraji constituencies respectively. Vasoya is the lone candidate from Hardik Patel’s Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti who is in the electoral fray on a Congress ticket. Dalit leader Jignesh is contesting as an independent with support from the Congress while Alpesh, a prominent OBC leader from the Thakor community, is leading from the Radhapur seat.

The good and bad of Rahul’s inauguration as leader

  • Having taken over from his mother Sonia Gandhi as Congress President, Rahul Gandhi’s show at two critical assembly elections depict two sides of his presence. It could be translated to possible defeats to start his tenure at the head of the party with, but it could also be termed a huge comeback for the Grand Old Party under his leadership, especially in Gujarat, where Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s BJP have ruled for 22 years. The dent, as the lead shows, is quite substantial, if it stays, BJP leading with 105 to Congress’ 76. In Himachal Pradesh, however, it will be a bad loss, with Congress trailing 22-41. The wild oscillations in the fortunes are being reflected in the Sensex, having fallen again by 651 points before recovering, yet again, to 191 points down.

Leads consolidate

  • The turmoil in the early stages of counting settled somewhat as counting entered the second and third phases, and leads were more certain. At around 10.10 am BJP were ahead 98-82 in Gujarat, while in Himachal BJP was ahead 40-22. Vijay Rupani in Rajkot was trailing, but is now leading by 3787 votes. The narrow lead might not stay, but that has been the trend of the moves so far.

Sensex settles

  • Following a big fall of nearly 800 points, heading towards the circuit breaker, the Sensex of BSE settled at a dip of a band of between 90 and 150, waiting for the final result. This is the biggest speculative dip in the long run and reflects the big emphasis that the election has on the markets. For every move in a direction away from the BJP, especially in Gujarat, the Sensex had swayed and dipped.

A rollercoaster ride

  • The crucial assembly elections in two states of India are turning out to be a roller-coaster ride for the two main parties while the leads changed hands with impressive frequency. While the BJP started off with big leads initially, the Congress came back strongly, and by 9.30am, conceding a lead in Gujarat, it was 82-96 in the arrears, while in Himachal BJP were ahead 30-25.
  • Meanwhile the Sensex stayed in the region of 700 points in the arrears.

Congress takes over lead

  • In the crucial assembly elections in two states of India Congress is ahead in Gujarat with leads in 95 seats, while the BJP leads in 85, while in Himachal Congress leads 35-25.

    Share markets fell, with the Sensex falling 651 points.

  • In the crucial assembly elections in two states of India Congress has suddenly moved ahead in Gujarat with leads in 100 seats, while the BJP leads in 80, while in Himachal it is neck and neck at 21 each.

BJP’s lead narrows 

  • In the crucial assembly elections in two states of India Congress has suddenly come abreast of BJP and in Gujarat it seems to be trailing 76-77, while in Himachal it is 11-15.
  • In the crucial assembly elections in  two states of India BJP leads 84-52 in Gujarat while it leads 15-8 in Himachal Pradesh … Others are leading in 1 in Gujarat and in 2 in Himachal.
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