Independent candidate Jignesh Mevani has won from Vagdam constituency even as early trends for the Gujarat Assembly elections 2017 showed a close contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. As per the latest Election Commission data, Mevani has got 95,497 votes, followed by BJP candidate Chakravarti Vijaykumar Harkhabhai who has got 75,801 votes till now.
“I express my gratitude to the people of Vadgam for all their support. Now I will raise the voice of Gujarat’s discriminated sections in the assembly,” ANI quoted Mevani as saying.
Last time in 2012, Congress’s Manilal Jethalal Vaghela had won by a margin of over 20,000 votes against Vaghela Fakirbhai Raghabhai of BJP.
Even though Mevani contested as an independent candidate, the Congress had given tacit support to the Dalit leader and did not filed any candidate from Vadgam. The 35-year-old shot to fame after organising movements against atrocities against Dalits in Una and leading a long march ‘Azadi Kooch’ demanding land for the community.
Several news channels on December 14 tumbled out exit poll results predicting a landslide victory for the BJP in both the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Almost all exit polls predicted more than 100 seats for the BJP in Gujarat, where the party has been ruling for last two decades now.
Mevani, however, rubbished the exit polls and said the BJP would not form the government this time. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch leader said, “Exit polls are nonsense. BJP is definitely going to lose this time and will not form the government.”
Over 2,000 candidates are in the fray for 182 seats in Gujarat. Later, the Assembly will get one nominated member, making the total strength 183. An average 68.41 per cent polling was recorded in the polls which was conducted in two phases on December 9 and 14.