With delimitation significantly changing the political boundaries in four major cities of Gujarat,both the Congress and BJP are faced with a new challenge in the most urbansised pockets of the state in the upcoming Assembly elections.
Of the over 40 new constituencies that have come up after the delimitation across 26 districts,28 which is more than 50% of total new seats are in major cities of Ahmedabad,Vadodara,Surat,Rajkot,Jamnagar and Bhavnagar.
In Ahmedabad,Shahpur and Kalupur have been dissolved,where as Khadia,a BJP stronghold,has been merged with Jamalpur,a Congress seat. Now,both the parties will have to field candidates who can appeal to the new,mixed lot of voters.
Newly created constituencies in Ahmedabad,including Sanand,Vatva and Gahtlodia,by and large have an urban and industrial outlook,which might give an edge to the ruling BJP for which the urban,educated class has been a traditional vote bank in Gujarat. Other new seats like Naranpur,Nicol,Thakarbapa,Bapunagar,Amraiwadi,Dariyapur and Danilimbada comprised parts of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation and rural areas in outskirts.
Surat now has six new seats with a good number of urban voters. These are Vracha Road,Karanj,Limbayat,Udhana,Katargam and Majura. All six seats also have rural areas under their limits,which means a lot of mixed voters Three urban seats of Surat East ,Surat West and Surat North have been retained. All three has sitting BJP MLAs.
Vadodara now has three heavily urbanised pockets and another two that are partly urbanised,instead of only three before the delimitation. Baroda city,Sanyajiganj and Raopura remain separate constituencies,but two new ones,Akota and Manjalpur,include parts of the municipal corporation and some rural areas.
Two entirely urban seats in Rajkot city,Rajkot I and Rajkot II,have been dissolved. New constituencies like Rajkot East,Rajkot West and Rajkot South have been created. Parts of Rajkot Rural have now become Rajkot West and newly developed areas in east and south are now included in two new seats. Delimitation here may affect two senior BJP leaders,Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala (Rajkot II MLA) and Govind Patel (Rajkot I MLA). Rajkot Rural has been reserved as an SC seat.