CONGRESS lost its last frontiers in Saurashtra-Kutch as BJP candidates coasted to victory with hefty margins and swept all the eight seats in the region in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In the results announced on Friday, sitting Congress MPs Kunvarji Bavaliya, Sombhai Patel and Vikram Madam lost from Rajkot, Surendrangar and Jamnagar respectively.
Bavaliya and Patel, both from the Koli community, are considered heavyweights in the region as they rarely have lost elections. Bavaliya was elected as an MLA from Jasdan Assembly seat in Rajkot district five times in a row before getting elected as an MP from there in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. However, the 59-year-old politician had lost Assembly elections from Botad constituency in 2012. Similarly, Patel, a four-time MP, was defeated only once in his three-decade-long political career.
However, on Friday, Bavaliya lost to Mohan Kundariya of the BJP by 2.46 lakh votes. Bavaliya could manage only 3,75,096 votes while Kundariya garnered 6,21,524. Patel also surrendered his seat to Devji Fatehpara after suffering a defeat by 2,02,907 votes. He could collect 3, 26, 096 votes against Fatehpara’s 5,29,003.
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In Jamnagar, Vikram Maadam, the two-time sitting MP was trailing his niece and BJP candidate Poonam Maadam by 1,62,231 votes with just 20 per cent votes left to be counted. He had managed 2,93,201 votes against 4,55,432 for Poonam.
Congress’s rout was complete as its candidates lost from Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Amreli, Kutch even as its allies NCP was defeated by the BJP from Porbandar, the only seat Sharad Pawar-led party was contesting in the state. Sitting BJP MP Vitthal Radadiya won from Porbandar by defeating NCP’s Kandhal Jadeja by more than 2.67 lakh votes. He got 5,08,437 votes against Jadeja’s 2,40,466.
Sitting BJP MP from Amreli, Naran Kachhadiya, also retained his seat by defeating Virjibhai Thummar with 1.56 lakh votes. He mustered 4,36,715 votes against Thummar’s 1,56,232.
Rajesh Chudasama, Bharati Shiyal and Vinod Chavda, all new cadidates fielded by the BJP, won from Junagadh, Bhavnagar and Kutch and helped their party to retain those seats. They defeated Congress’ Punjabhai Vansh, Pravin Rathod and Dinesh Parmar respectively. All BJP candidates won with the victory margins of more than one lakh votes.