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Congress faces uphill task post-delimitation

If many top ministers in the Narendra Modi government are expected to lose their constituencies in the coming Assembly elections due to delimitation,the new boundaries are likely to hit the Congress harder as its strongholds,which are a few,are now different in shape and size compared to the 2007 polls.

Written by Hiral Dave | Rajkot | Published: May 3, 2012 5:25:37 am

If many top ministers in the Narendra Modi government are expected to lose their constituencies in the coming Assembly elections due to delimitation,the new boundaries are likely to hit the Congress harder as its strongholds,which are a few,are now different in shape and size compared to the 2007 polls.

While the BJP had dominated results in 24 of the 26 districts in the last elections,Kheda and Dahod districts — in central and south Gujarat regions respectively — had emerged to be the saving grace for the Congress,which won total 62 seats.

Now,delimitation in these two districts seems to pose more challenges for the Congress than the ruling party.

In Kheda,both the constituencies — Mehmdabad and Matar — won by the BJP remain unaffected by delimitation,but two of the remaining six seats — Chaklasi and Kathala — are now history.

Congress candidates had won from the Chaklasi constituency in 2007 as well as 2002 while the party lost the Kathlal seat,which remained its bastion for decades,to the BJP in the 2010 by-election.

In Dahod,where the Congress won four of the six seats,the Limbi constituency has been dissolved. The party had wrested this seat from the BJP.

In the politically decisive Saurashtra-Kutch region,which accounts for 58 of the total 182 seats,Surendranagar is the only district where the Congress can pose a major challenge for the BJP.

Of the total six seats here,the Congress had bagged three in 2007. While the Halvad constituency — won by a Congress candidate — has been dissolved,the rest,including Dasada,Wadhwan and Limbdi won by the BJP,remain unaffected post-delimitation.

In Vadodara district,where equations were almost similar to Surendranagar,Congress’ stronghold Nasvadi has been dissolved.

But here the BJP is also likely to face an uphill task as its bastion,Vadodara Rural,has been scrapped.

In Ahmedabad district,three Congress pockets — Kalupur,Shahpur and Jamalpur — may spring a few surprises in the wake of delimitation. Jamalpur has been merged with Khadia,a BJP stronghold,whereas Kalupur and Shahpur constituencies have been dissolved.

The three newly created constituencies — Vatva,Ghatlodia and Sanand — have an urban population,which is considered to be BJP’s vote-bank.

The Opposition party may face a tough time in Patan also,as two of the total six seats — Sami and Vagdod,both won by the Congress — no longer exist.

In Sabarkantha,where the Congress won three of the total eights seats,Meghraj — the constituency of Mahenrdrasinh Vaghela,son of senior Congress leader Shankersinh Vahela — has been dissolved.

In Amreli,the only seat,Babra,that the Congress had managed to win has been scrapped,while in Jamnagar,Jodiya — one of the two seats bagged by the Congress — has been dissolved.

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